Skip Navigation

Fall 2012 - 62100 - PA682GA - Policy Research Project on Global Policy Issues

Urban Resilience to Climate Change Challenges in Africa

Instructor(s): Wilson, Robert H.
Unique Number: 62100
Day & Time: T 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.216/219
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Each student will be required to take this two-semester course in his or her second year. Topics will vary. In each course, a research team of ten to twenty students led by one or two professors will study a contemporary policy problem of interest to a specific client. Policy research projects are both client- and product-oriented and serve as instruments for both learning and public service.

Section Description

This project will examine the capacity of governmental systems for disaster preparedness and mitigation across a range of climate-related hazards in a set of large urban areas in Africa. These systems, comprised of networks of local, regional and national government agencies, multilateral organizations, non-profit and community-based organization, will be described and their capacity assessed. Of particular interest will be local government with its key roles as first responder but also in its roles in local infrastructure provision and land use regulation. Although local government capacity has generally improved in recent decades, it has rarely been the priority of state reform in Africa. Mobilizing governmental capacity in metropolitan areas faces the additional challenge fragmented local government systems spread over vast urbanized areas.

The study will involve case studies in six to eight metropolitan areas in Africa. For each case, a profile will be developed that includes the structure of government, the institutional and political context, the economic structure and performance, and socio-demographic conditions. Second, the network of organizations involved in the service delivery system related to specific hazard related vulnerabilities faced in the city will be described and its capacity assessed. The assessment of capacity and collaborative potential of the networks will require fieldwork in the cities chosen for study.  

The PRP will be conducted through the Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program in the Strauss Center for International Security and Law. The CCAPS program will award travel fellowships to students for the PRP field research. Travel for the PRP will occur between December 10, 2012 and January 15, 2013; students registering for the course must be available to travel during these dates. Students will be responsible for determine whether these travel grants will affect their financial aid packages. Students who are unable to receive a travel fellowship due to their financial aid packages will be offered alternative arrangements by CCAPS for travel funding.