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Climate change, vulnerability and adaptive social protection: innovation and practice among migrant workers in Indian cities

This paper explores the significance of adaptive social protection in building urban resilience in the context of vulnerability to climate change and health inequities among migrant workers in the urban informal sector India. Through case studies of three Indian cities — Kochi, Surat and Mumbai — the paper analyses the status of vulnerability and social protection among these workers. It further examines the nature of innovative projects that have emerged in the context of risk reduction, climate change adaptation and public health care systems in the respective cities. This paper then outlines the scope and role of social work in addressing the challenges of climate change and health inequities. A mixed methodology approach organised in three phases was designed to carry out the study. In the first phase, data from 50 migrants in each of the three cities were collected using a semi-structured interview schedule. In the second phase, data from 42 experts comprising medical practitioners, social workers, government officials and activists were collected. In the third phase, the findings from the first two phases were presented in workshops to social workers, community workers, academicians and research scholars. The suggestions provided by the participants of these workshops were incorporated into the larger discussions of this paper. The findings demonstrate that social workers and development practitioners have a very important role to play in strengthening urban resilience to climate change and social vulnerabilities.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 10737IIED
  • Published: Jun 2015 - IIED
  • Area: India
  • Theme: Urban
  • ISBN: 978-1-78431-206-0
  • Language: English

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The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) is an eight-year, multi-country initiative working with cities across the world to increase resilience to climate change. IIED is a regional partner within ACCCRN.

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Strengthening knowledge on urban climate resilience