20.06.2016 13:07

Research financed by the Volkswagen Foundation for a Senior Fellowship Grant (VW Foundation Project no.: 89 866)

“Determinants for household adoption of differentiated risk management mechanisms to natural disasters in developing countries: An experimental analysis of multiple case studies”
(September 2015 – August 2018)

Dr. Azibo Roland Balgah (balgahroland@gmail.com, balgazib@yahoo.com)
Bamenda University of Science and Technology (BUST: www.bamendauniversity.com)
Bamenda, Cameroon



Following up the research of the junior VW-fellowship project “Managing Natural Risks and Shocks in Developing Countries. The Role of Informal Response Mechanisms” (2012-15), we will commence in September 2015 the research for the senior fellowship “Determinants for household adoption of differentiated risk management mechanisms to natural disasters in developing countries: An experimental analysis of multiple case studies”.

The motivation for the research is based on the escalation of natural disasters in recent years, which threaten, at the macro level, the continuity of economic growth currently observed in many countries of Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in particular and, at the micro level, the livelihood of the already often vulnerable population hit by the disaster. The failure of formal (state and market) risk management mechanisms in SSA compels research to contribute to the developing of more appropriate instruments for managing natural disaster outcomes in SSA. This research extends previous research efforts based on the single case study of the 1986 Lake Nyos natural gas explosion in Northwest Cameroon, to include floods and droughts, the two most frequent types of natural disasters worldwide and in Africa. A multiple case study approach allows us to test the robustness of the innovative, multi-sector framework that has emerged from the contemporary discourse on appropriate approaches for disaster management in SSA under state and market failure conditions. Field experiments and a structured questionnaire will be used in combination with qualitative instruments to identify determinants of adoption of different risk management instruments, elicit current and future risk behavior, and catalogue a typology of adopted risk management mechanisms across multiple case studies, for victims and non-victims of floods and droughts from the coastal (Southwest) and Sahelian (Northern) Regions of Cameroon respectively.

A minimum of two submissions preferably to ISI Journals per annum are targeted. Contributions to an open access discussion paper series will facilitate easy access to African researchers. Overall, the research will validate and propose a novel framework adapted to modeling different types of disasters across SSA countries under state and market failure conditions with subsequent implications for policy.

Key words: Natural disasters, experiments, multiple case studies, multi-sector framework, SSA


The research benefits from research partners at the TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan (WZW):

1.      Prof. Dr. Lusia Menapace
(Assistant Professor for Governance in International Agribusiness)

2.      Prof. Dr. Johannes Sauer
(Professor for Agricultural Production and Resource Economics)

The scientific mentor comes from the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), and is equally partnering the research:

3.      Prof. Dr. Gertrud Buchenrieder (Adjunct Professor for Agricultural and Development Policy)

A home based mentor for the project who will also assist scientifically in the project is:

4.      Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Yenshu Vubo, (Professor of Sociology and Anthropology), Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, University of Buea, P. O. Box 1000, Buea, Cameroon.