Cabot lunchtime lecture: Climate change adaptation and aid

20 March 2013, 1.00 PM - 20 March 2013, 1.00 PM

Seminar Room 1, Geographical Sciences, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS


A special lunch time talk by Sarah L Hemstock AKC PhD FLS

The impacts of international aid for climate change adaptation on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) using Tuvalu as a case study


Dr Sarah L Hemstock is an author and adviser to the Alofa Tuvalu “Small Is Beautiful” project – recognized by UNESCO as one of its “Decade of Achievement Projects”. Currently she is a Director of Themba Trust (THEre Must Be an Alternative), Visiting Fellow at Nottingham Trent University, and Project Team Leader for the EU-Global Climate Change Alliance project at the  Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD), University of the South Pacific. The majority of her recent work experience relates to practical resource management and sustainable development issues relevant to some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities and vulnerable ecosystems. In 2010 she was made Government of Tuvalu Honorary Ambassador for Environmental Science.


The low-lying Pacific island states exemplify some of the complexities and difficulties of accessing and effectively utilizing overseas aid. Aid effectiveness has become a high-profile issue, both within the aid community and as part of the broader political debate in many donor countries. It has been argued that overseas aid packages are failing to meet their desired outcomes and even undermine the strategies and policies they are supposed to be promoting. This case study shows that it can be the system of aid governance and accountability that leads to aid being spent on projects that are relatively easy to manage and fit only for “aid sector”/donor targets and goals, rather than making a concrete difference to those in greatest need at the grassroots level. This seminar will explore the dynamics of the relationship between the donors and receiving states.


Listen again [MP3, 1.6 MB]

Powerpoint slides [PDF, 9.31 MB]

Sarah has provided two documents of interest:

The Impacts of International Aid on the Energy Security of Small Island Developing States (SIDS ): A case study of Tuvalu (PDF, 864kB) by Sarah Hemstock and Roy Smith.  [PDF, 865 KB]

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Funding for Climate Change Adaptation Using Tuvalu as a Case Study (PDF, 113kB) [PDF, 114 KB]

Further reading

Blog:  The sinking Pacific - climate change and international aid in Tuvalu by Amanda Woodman-Hardy

Blog:  Pearls of wisdom: The importance of knowledge exchange when facing environmental uncertainty by Amanda Woodman-Hardy

Case study: Small Island States - Living at the sharp end of environmental uncertainty




Edit this page