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Visualizing Climate Change Adaptation

  • This article analyzes how humanitarian and/or development organizations acting as intermediaries between scientists and vulnerable populations aim to make environmental changes visible while trying to meet local needs and demands for sustainable livelihoods. Based on an in-depth organizational case study in Southern Thailand, the research analyses the use of visualization tools to foster environmental knowledge and literacy while supporting both policymaking as well as citizen engagement. Drawing on insights from sociology of organizations, the study discusses the organizational reasons for the use of visualization tools, outlining the underlying coercive, mimetic and normative pressures that facilitate their proliferation in the context of environmental communication. The results show that both the participatory approach as well as the use of audiovisual and digital tools to communicate project goals and results have become indispensable and institutionalized tools in the organizational field of humanitarian and development aid. In this context, organizations have become intermediaries and translators between ‘climate risk’ scientists and ‘at risk’ people, thus, facilitating environmental communication. The results show that questions of trust and ownership of ideas play an important role in the context of livelihood related projects linked to climate change adaptation. In this context, not only does the style and content of communication, but also the relationship between the parties who communicate, have an impact upon the success or failure of managing options in climate change adaptation.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Kerstin Rosenow-Williams
Parent Title (English):Visual Methodologies
Number of pages:12
First Page:23
Last Page:34
Date of first publication:2018/02/17
Keyword:Climate Change Adaptation; Development Organizations; Humanitarian Organizations; Thailand; Visualization Tools
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Entry in this database:2021/10/12