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Photovoice for Vulnerability: Resilience Building in the Philippines.

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Title:Photovoice for Vulnerability: Resilience Building in the Philippines.
Authors:Cai, Yanjun
Contributors:Urban and Regional Planning (department)
social capital
Date Issued:Aug 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Disadvantaged residents are increasingly exposed to environmental hazards stemming
from urbanization and climate change. More and more countries have raised top-down
strategies to tackle climate hazards. But effective climate adaptation on the community
level noticeably differs from the national level. Current frameworks for understanding
resilience have not yet adequately explained the variations of vulnerability within the
community and among individuals. Drawing on visual narratives, unstructured
observations, and semi-structured interviews, this dissertation illustrates how the degrees,
types, and impacts of vulnerability vary within and across households and communities;
these less apparent variations for vulnerable subgroups call for different adaptive
interventions. Integrating photovoice with social media not only reveals this missing
perspective of vulnerability but also builds resilience by mobilizing social capital across
different levels of governing actors. The combined application of photovoice and social
media—a tool for research as well as intervention—investigates emergency
entrepreneurship for enhancing resilience, which has been seldom mentioned by planning
My study focuses on three informal settlement communities in metropolitan
Manila and Cebu in the Philippines. In these communities, the processes of disaster
preparation, response, adaptation, and rebuilding are embedded in routinized life cycles
due to the frequency of hazards. Destructive flooding can happen monthly or even
multiple times a week. Therefore, planning for disasters is often spontaneous—actions
that require flexibility and innovation that continuously shape their adaptation to current
and future disaster events. By revealing the disadvantaged perspectives of community
resilience, my work suggests a need to readjust and refine the framework of vulnerability
within the resilience literature. It also emphasizes how social capital as the capability and
emergency entrepreneurship as the adaptive strategy can affect resilience building. In
addition, this dissertation articulates how applying the photovoice method can contribute
to digitalizing resiliency governance through the use of social media. This approach
facilitates alternative and inclusive forms of data-generation and policymaking, while
building trust in local communities. My findings are relevant for planning and climate
change adaptation toward strengthening disadvantaged communities’ capacities for
resilience building.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Urban and Regional Planning

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