Preferences of vulnerable social groups for ecosystem-based adaptation to flood risk in Central Vietnam

L. C. Hagedoorn*, P. Bubeck, P. Hudson, L. M. Brander, M. Pham, R. Lasage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Developing countries are increasingly impacted by floods, especially in Asia. Traditional flood risk management, using structural measures such as levees, can have negative impacts on the livelihoods of social groups that are more vulnerable. Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) provides a complementary approach that is potentially more inclusive of groups that are commonly described as more vulnerable, such as the poor and women. However, there is a lack of disaggregated and quantitative information on the potential of EbA to support vulnerable groups of society. This paper provides a quantitative analysis of the differences in vulnerability to flooding as well as preferences for EbA benefits across income groups and gender. We use data collected through a survey of households in urban and rural Central Vietnam which included a discrete choice experiment on preferences for ecosystem services. A total of 1,010 households was surveyed during 2017 through a random sampling approach. Preferences are measured in monetary and non-monetary terms to avoid issues that may arise from financial constraints faced by respondents and especially the more vulnerable groups. Our results reveal that lower income households and women are overall more vulnerable than their counterparts and have stronger preferences for the majority of the EbA benefits, including flood protection, seafood abundance, tourism, and recreation suitability. These findings strongly indicate that EbA is indeed a promising tool to support groups of society that are especially vulnerable to floods. These results provide crucial insights for future implementation of EbA projects and for the integration of EbA with goals targeted at complying with the Sendai Framework and Sustainable Development Goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105650
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalWorld Development
Early online date10 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for funding for the ResilNam Urban and ResilNam Coastal projects from the Global Resilience Partnership Water Window funded by Z Zurich Foundation and funding from NWO-WOTRO through the Urbanising Deltas of the World programme, project number W07.69.206. Thanks also to CSRD, and the students from Huế University, for the fruitful collaboration and participation in the data collection activities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Discrete choice experiment
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA)
  • Gender equality
  • Payment vehicle
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Vulnerability


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