By: Jose Francisco Santiago
As a transdisciplinary research project, the goal of CCARPH is to integrate the findings of the social sciences and the natural sciences in studying the impacts of climate change in our cities. The social sciences primarily study the impacts of these natural hazards on people – from the individual household to society as a whole – using social scientific methods. At the core of the work package 1.2 (characterizing exposure, vulnerability and capacity of multiple stakeholders) is interrogating the concept and methods of social vulnerability – the social, economic, and demographic characteristics that influence how much local populations will be impacted by environmental hazards (Cutter et al. 2009; Emrich and Cutter 2011).
Recently, CCARPH work package 1.2 researchers finished computing the components of social vulnerability of our partner cities in Metro Manila, Iloilo and Naga, utilizing the principal component analysis (PCA), one of the multivariate analytical tools in the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Recently, the team (headed by Celine Villanueva) finished estimating the components of social vulnerability in the city of Manila (with 900 barangays!). This will be part of the science input to the NRC-CCARPH partnership with the City of Manilaemploying the National Resilience Council (NRC) scorecards. Collaborating with this partnership are CCARPH’s pool of experts, Dr. CP David and Dr. Fernando Siringan from the University of the Philippines. A capacity building session with Ms. Celine Villanueva preceded this, wherein the CCARPH project management team took part in the analysis of the social vulnerability for Manila’s 900 barangays. Aside from this, CCARPH has also produced PCA runs for other Metro Manila cities in the past, namely Valenzuela, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Pasig, and Quezon City. The computed dimensions of social vulnerability of Naga City and Iloilo City were downloaded to the partner research institutions (Ateneo de Naga University headed by Dr. Digna Alba and University of the Philippines – Visayas headed by Dr. Gay Defiesta with Ms. Jessica Dator-Bercilla). These teams disaggregated the city level components of vulnerability to the level of communities or barangay using the community-based monitoring system (CBMS) in Naga City and a variation of it in Iloilo city.
The PCA runs found the following components of social vulnerability: Social Structure of the Community, Housing Tenure and Housing Materials, and Disabilities. Some components were unique to the cities of Iloilo and Naga, and these components highlighted the unique problems these cities face. For Iloilo, components relating to water acquisition were evident, while in Naga the components of Economic Capacity and Dependency came about. Overall, the goal of these analyses is to aid local governments and policy makers create science-based programs and policies that aim to help the most vulnerable populations in the cities.
Cutter, Susan L., Christopher T. Emrich, Jennifer J. Webb, and Daniel Morath. 2009. “Social
Vulnerability to Climate Variability Hazards: A Review of Literature.” Columbia: University of South Carolina– Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute
Emrich, Christopher T., and Susan L. Cutter. 2011. “Social Vulnerability to Climate-Sensitive Hazards in the Southern United States.” Weather, Climate, and Society 3(3):193 208. doi:10.1175/2011wcas1092.1