Institute of Development Studies Working Paper Series

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    Land use planning for risk reduction through avoidance of sensitive and vulnerable activities in natural hazards zone
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, November 2023) Feeney, Alison
    Natural disasters around the world highlight that it is often the most vulnerable groups that are impacted due to low incomes, no insurance, and poor-quality housing (Chang et al., 2015). Land use planning is regarded as the most effective tool for protecting communities from natural hazards (including climate change), for risk reduction and increasing resilience (Beban & Gunnell, 2019; McGregor et al, 2021; Saunders et al, 2014). By avoiding vulnerable activities in natural hazard areas and protecting critical facilities like emergency response facilities/shelters, hospitals, marae and key infrastructure serves to increase resilience if a disaster happens. In New Zealand (NZ) responsibility for disaster risk reduction is primarily given to local councils, who through their district/unitary or city plans outline how this will be achieved and controlled. Separation of “Sensitive or Vulnerable” activities from natural hazards areas and implementing rules to manage these activities is seen as the key to achieving risk reduction. Recent extreme weather events in New Zealand highlighted the urgency to increase resilience of communities, assets, and infrastructure. The question is whether defining and classifying Sensitive and Vulnerable activities and putting in place rules in current district plans and policy statements to manage these activities in natural hazard areas can reduce risks and contribute to meeting key relevant indicator goals for SDG11 Sustainable Cities and SDG13 Climate Change, including Sendai Framework targets (UN, 2015, 2015a). The effectiveness of land use planning for risk reduction is debatable and whether more national guidance or tools are needed to assist with implementation. This research also seeks to identify indicators that Councils could use to track more closely progress in risk reduction towards meeting SDGs 11 and 13.
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    “Nobody should talk about it”: Fijian health system resilience and the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, June 2023) McLennan, Sharon; Movono, Apisalome; Thomas-Maude, Johanna; Siliasau, Isoa; Vosanibola, Apolosi
    In April 2021 Fiji made international news with stories of ‘horrific’ health care conditions, including hospital staff and patients without food, hospital operating theatres out of service, and shortages of beds, medicine, equipment, and blood. While Fiji appeared to be relatively well-prepared to respond to COVID-19 and had successfully avoided a major outbreak in 2020, a rapid increase in the number of cases in 2021 quickly overwhelmed the public health system. In this working paper, we draw on the health systems resilience framework of tangible hardware, tangible software, and intangible software to explore the impacts of COVID-19 in Fiji, the underlying causes of the resulting crisis, and the response of the Fijian health sector. We contend that the 2021-22 crisis was no accident, but that over two decades of political instability, multiple smaller crises, chronic under-resourcing, and neglect left the system with limited ability to cope with the pandemic, and potentially insufficient resources to enter a recovery phase post-pandemic. However, this research also highlights the role of intangible resources, including the adaptive practices, collective labour, and sacrifices of health workers drawing on solesolevaki and communal cultural values. We argue these were not only vital to the Fijian pandemic response but may offer a path towards resilience-building in the health system, and for the radical innovation and adaptions necessary to provide a healthy environment and best quality care for Fijians both in ‘normal’ circumstances and in the face of future crises.
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    Sustainable cities and communities in a changing climate : lessons from New York
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, 2023-04) Morris, Aya
    The Resilient Coastal Communities Project (RCCP) is a partnership between Columbia Climate School and the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance which collaborates with communities and agencies to develop and apply actionable, fundable, and equitable solutions to flood risks that also deliver complementary benefits such as habitat restoration and greater community cohesion. This paper presents a research project which investigates the ways in which the RCCP team support sustainable development by working towards SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, targets 11.3 and 11.5; SDG 13, Climate Action, targets 13.1 and 13.3; and SDG 14, Life Below Water, targets 14.1 and 14.2. Results indicate that the team have achieved some successes in their work toward SDG 11, SDG 13, and SDG 14. Challenges in implementation of resilience measures and in the inclusion of environmental justice communities within resilience planning remain.
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    Measuring the wellbeing of tourism-reliant communities in the South Pacific during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, 2022) Scheyvens, Regina; Movono, Apisalome; Tasere, Apakuki; Neihapi, Pita; Taua’i, Lagi; Turner, Lauren; Uri-Puati, James; Auckram, Jessie
    In the absence of tourists due to COVID-19, Pacific Island nations are thought to have been dealt a “severe blow” that has undermined their wellbeing (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD, 2020). However, our research in 2020 suggested that despite the hardships, many Pacific peoples living in places normally reliant on income from international tourists had adapted effectively in the face of tough challenges, and some were actually thriving (see Scheyvens et al., 2020). This led us to devise a specific study to measure wellbeing of Pacific peoples, which we report on in this working paper. Phase 1 of this 2021-22 study has assessed wellbeing prior to the return of tourists in Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Vanuatu (see Figure 1), and in Phase 2 it will measure wellbeing again six months after international tourists have returned to each destination. The knowledge gathered thus far allows us to gauge how different aspects of wellbeing have been impacted, and how wellbeings vary between countries. When the entire dataset is collected, the researchers will be able to see whether or not wellbeing is aided by the return of international tourism.
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    Ngā kaitiaki i te whenua ki Waitangi : resilience and adaptation of Indigenous people in Aotearoa in the wake of Covid-19
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, 2022-03) Hepi, Suzanne; Auckram, Sophie
    The aim of this report is to discuss how members of Te Tii B3 Trust at Waitangi (the trust), a significant site of cultural tourism in Aotearoa New Zealand, have adapted in the face of Covid-19, and to ascertain their future aspirations for tourism.
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    Development in a world of disorder : tourism, COVID-19 and the adaptivity of South Pacific people
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, 2020) Scheyvens, Regina; Movono, Apisalome; Strickland, Danita; Bibi, Patricia; Tasere, Apakuki; Hills, Georgie; Rihai, Norah; Teama, Fiona
    This research about the impacts of economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 on the wellbeing of tourism-dependent communities in the Pacific emerged from concerns shared by Dr Apisalome Movono and Professor Regina Scheyvens – tourism and development researchers in the Institute of Development Studies at Massey University. Both scholars had previously researched how tourism could contribute to sustainable development of communities in the Pacific and they felt compelled to now examine COVID-19’s effects on people who were highly reliant on tourism income. By Easter 2020, most international flights to the region had ceased and tens of thousands of tourism sector jobs were threatened. Anecdotally, the researchers had heard that some people were adapting quite well to life without international tourists by growing their own food and bartering, for example, but they were also aware of others who were really struggling. They thus started to design a research project that would allow them to understand the complex realities of the impacts of the pandemic on those people whose livelihoods were largely based on tourism, and how they were adapting. The focus was on communities in tourism-dependent areas, as other entities in the region were already running separate surveys on businesses impacted by the slowdown.
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    Leveraging the Samoan Mental Health Policy for Policy Development in Niue
    (Massey University, 2019) Corcoran, Dale; Stewart-Withers, Rochelle
    Mental health is a prevalent, but often ignored area of health. Mental illness can significantly impact the mentally unwell, their families, and the wider community, yet access to proper care can be hindered by availability, ignorance, discrimination, and stigma, and result in human rights violations. This is especially true in developing countries where services may be inadequate or non-existent. Mental health policies can alleviate this situation by improving and prioritising mental health services at a national level. Based on Samoa and Niue’s similarities in terms of their mental health context and the positive analysis and evaluation of the 2006 Samoan policy, this paper concludes that the work done in Samoa is a viable choice for Niue to leverage in their future policy work. Niue would benefit from developing their mental health policy based on the precepts of South-to-South Cooperation by collaborating and sharing knowledge with their neighbour Samoa.
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    Community Development through Corporate Social Responsibility in Livingston, Zambia: Are Hotels Actually Changing Business Practices?
    (Massey University, 2018) Chilufya, Andrew K
    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) presents unique prospects for both local development and valuable business returns for tourism companies. However, optimization of CSR-generated development impacts may largely depend on the willingness of companies to change their corporate practices more. This paper explores CSR practices of hotels and lodges in Livingstone, Zambia, and associated community development impacts of activities they implement in the surrounding Mukuni communities. Findings from research amongst eight hotel and lodge companies, show that where the voluntary process of change of CSR practices was accompanied by multi-stakeholder involvement, which tended to ameliorate adverse power relations, substantial community development benefits were widely captured by communities from CSR initiatives. These findings suggest that in situations where companies willingly incorporate pro-poor approaches in their business practices, multi-stakeholder involvement in CSR might be a plausible approach for ensuring equity and for augmenting the CSR community development impacts.
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    Measuring, defining, and valuing change: A database on development indicators for policy-makers, activists, and researchers
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, 2013) Prinsen, Gerard; Purcell, Gisela
    The use of indicators in international development has increased exponentially since the 1990s. Composite and proxy indicators are used to measure a wide range of concepts but their shortcomings have been widely critiqued. Through a review of over 300 documents, this paper gives a brief history of the rise of “indicatorology” and then summarizes the key challenges in three categories: technical/operational, political/strategic and epistemological/conceptual. Technical challenges faced by development practitioners revolve around the over-simplification of complex issues and the conflation of the goals with indicators. Political challenges involve the inherent power of indicators and the implications they have for policy making. Epistemological challenges question how to balance scientific rigor with local knowledge in the creation and use of indicators. A database of all publications used in this research is being made accessible to development practitioners and researchers via Massey University – watch this space!
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    Aid, education and adventure: Thai women’s participation in a development scholarship scheme.
    (Institute of Development Studies, Massey University, 2012) Wild, Kirsty; Scheyvens, Regina
    Development scholarships – endowments that provide individuals from so-called ‘developing’ nations with opportunities to undertake tertiary training abroad – are an historically important, yet increasingly contested, form of educational aid. However, meaningful debates about the value of this type of aid are limited by a lack of research about the impact that it has. The experience of female development scholars is a particularly neglected area of research. This article provides a qualitative exploration of the experiences of twelve Thai women who have completed a postgraduate degree through a scholarship scheme funded by the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID). This research highlights a number of benefits associated with these schemes, including greater emotional autonomy, increased cross-cultural knowledge, new professional networks, new work skills, and improved English-language competency. Negative outcomes identified include career disruption, new unwanted work responsibilities, and dissatisfaction with aspects of life in their country of origin.