Livelihood asset maps: a multidimensional approach to measuring risk-management capacity and adaptation policy targeting—a case study in Bhutan

Kristian Thor Jakobsen

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    The application of a livelihood asset-based approach to adaptation policy targeting is presented through the creation of maps highlighting the spatial contrasts of access to various types of livelihood assets utilizing primary household data. Thus, the livelihood maps provide policy-makers with a tool to quickly identify areas with limited access to certain types of assets, making the latter less able to react to a changing level of climaterelated risks. In the case of Bhutan, distinct spatial patterns of asset endowments is identified using five different asset indicators drawing attention to the fact that some areas facing increased level of climate-related risks lack access to productive and human capital, while other areas facing a similar situation have relatively insufficient access to financial assets. This again shows that any non-targeted policy aiming at improving households’ risk-management capacities through asset-building would have quite diverse results even among closely located districts in Bhutan. Finally, relevant policy options concerning the various dimensions of asset holdings are discussed so as to identify options that may benefit poor and vulnerable no matter if the expected outcomes of a changing climate are realized or not.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRegional Environmental Change
    Pages (from-to)219–233
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Livelihood assets
    • Multidimensional welfare
    • Pro-poor adaptation
    • Bhutan
    • Spatial
    • Heterogeneity
    • Risk management

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