Social capital and incremental transformative change: responding to climate change experts in Metro Manila

Abstract

This research examines climate change responses by experts from government, national agencies, civil society organizations, and private firms in Metro Manila. We found that highly bonding social capital, often forged through more familiar relationships, reduces organizational interactions and the potential for efficient knowledge mobilization. Specifically, results show deficiencies in information delivery (inconsistent lexicon) and support systems (knowledge sharing, partnerships, and resources), situations known to hinder climate change action. Despite ambivalence toward changing the current system, experts expressed (a) undertones of displeasure in how the system operates, and (b) a clear desire for more institutionalized action and mandates at various institutional scales. A predominance of bonding social capital can preclude participation from outside actors resulting in the exclusion of innovations needed to advance climate response. Therefore, we propose incremental shifts to existing social capital as a means to achieve transformations, arguing that a synergy of horizontal and vertical networks could increase efficiencies in information processes, strengthen collaborations, and enhance governance to confront climate change in this context.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    The Philippines fluctuates in its regrettable distinction as the second or third most disaster-prone country depending on year and ranking criteria (Bankoff 2016; Cai 2017; Meerow 2017).

  2. 2.

    In this research, these individuals are experts working on climate change through their professional organizational roles and capacities.

  3. 3.

    The terms CSOs and NGOs are used interchangeably in this research.

  4. 4.

    Issues involving roadways, waterways, or population straddling LGU boundaries may necessitate collaboration by multiple LGUs. Resolutions largely depend on LGU directives as collaboration is mostly not mandated (Porio 2012).

  5. 5.

    Current and accurate directories for CSOs and NGOs do not exist (Clarke 2012). Participants were located by scrutiny of previous records, lists, and direct query of experts working in related fields.

  6. 6.

    Four LGUs requested group rather than individual interviews.

  7. 7.

    These lists were referenced by LGU participants. A physical list was never provided to, or obtainable by, the researcher.

  8. 8.

    Community knowledge concerns suggestions or input from community members, regardless of affiliations.

  9. 9.

    Results may not reflect all information sharing processes since the document sample was random.

  10. 10.

    The political landscape within which study organizations operate was cautiously observed since it was too soon and, potentially, risky for participants to fully critique at the time this research occurred.

  11. 11.

    Project NOAH has since been re-homed by the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where its moniker is now UP-NOAH.

  12. 12.

    This project was not noted by name but the generic term, floodgates, was offered as a successful project (Fig. 2). While this could reflect issues with terminology discussed earlier, such speculation is not possible.

References

  1. Adger WN (2009) Social capital, collective action, and adaptation to climate change. Econ Geogr 79(4):387–404

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Adger WN, Arnell NW, Tompkins EL (2005) Successful adaptation to climate change across scales. Glob Environ Chang 15(2):77–86

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Adhikari B, Taylor K (2012) Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change: a review of local actions and national policy response. Climate and Development 4(February 2015):54–65

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Aldrich DP, Meyer MA (2015) Social capital and community resilience. Am Behav Sci 59(2):254–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Archer D, Dodman D (2015) Making capacity building critical: power and justice in building urban climate resilience in Indonesia and Thailand. Urban Climate 14(1):68–78

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Asian Development Bank. (2013). Civil society briefs: Philippines, Publication Stock No. ARM124416

  7. Assens, C., & Lemeur, A. C. (2016). Network governance: the theory. Networks governance, partnership management and coalitions federation. Governance and Public Management. London: Palgrave Macmillan

  8. Aswani S, Vaccaro I, Abernethy K, Albert S, de Pablo JFL (2015) Can perceptions of environmental and climate change in island communities assist in adaptation planning locally? Environ Manag 4

  9. Bahadur A, Ibrahim M, Tanner T (2013) Characterising resilience: unpacking the concept for tackling climate change and development. Clim Develop 5(1):55–65

  10. Ballantyne AG (2016) Climate change communication: what can we learn from communication theory? Wiley Interdiscip Rev Clim Chang 7(3):329–344

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Bankoff G (2003) Constructing vulnerability: the historical, natural and social generation of flooding in metropolitan Manila. Disasters 27(3):224–238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Bankoff G (2016) Hazardousness of place: a new comparative approach to the Filipino past. Philipp Stud 64(3–4):335–357

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Betsill MM, Bulkeley H (2006) Cities and the multilevel governance of global climate change. Glob Gov 12(2):141–159

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Biesbroek GR, Swart RJ, van der Knaap WGM (2009) The mitigation–adaptation dichotomy and the role of spatial planning. Habitat Int 33(3):230–237

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Blythe J, Silver J, Evans L, Armitage D, Bennett NJ, Moore ML et al (2018) The dark side of transformation: latent risks in contemporary sustainability discourse. Antipode 50(5):1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Bridger J, Luloff A (2001) Building the sustainable community: is social capital the answer? Sociol Inq 71(4):458–472

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Brower RS, Magno FA, Dilling J (2014) Evolving and implementing a new disaster management paradigm: the case of the Philippines. In: Kapucu N, Liou KT (eds) Disaster and development: examining global issues and cases. Springer, New York, pp 289–313

    Google Scholar 

  18. Bulkeley H, Betsill M (2005) Rethinking sustainable cities: multilevel governance and the ‘urban’ politics of climate change. Environmental Politics 14(1):42–63

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Burch S (2010) In pursuit of resilient, low carbon communities: an examination of barriers to action in three Canadian cities. Energy Policy 38(12):7575–7585

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Burch S, Mitchell C, Berbes-Blazquez M, Wandel J (2017) Tipping toward transformation: progress, patterns and potential for climate change adaptation in the Global South. Journal of Extreme Events 4(1):1750003

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Cai Y (2017) Bonding, bridging, and linking: photovoice for resilience through social capital. Nat Hazards 88(2):1169–1195

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Carmin J, Anguelovski I, Roberts D (2012) Urban climate adaptation in the Global South: planning in an emerging policy domain. JPER 32(1):18–32

    Google Scholar 

  23. Castells M (2011) A network theory of power. Int J Commun 5:773–787

    Google Scholar 

  24. Clarke, G. (2012). Civil society in the Philippines: theoretical, methodological and policy debates. London: Routledge

  25. Corburn J (2003) Bringing local knowledge into environmental decision making. J Plan Educ Res 22:420–433

  26. Corfee-Morlot J, Cochran I, Hallegatte S, Teasdale PJ (2011) Multilevel risk governance and urban adaptation policy. Clim Chang 104(1):169–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Cox LAT (2012) Community resilience and decision: theory challenges for catastrophic events. Risk Anal 32(11):1919–1934

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Feiock RC (2013) The institutional collective action framework. Policy Stud J 41(3):397–425

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Field. C. B., Barros, V. R., Dokken, D. J., Mach, K. J., Mastrandrea, M. D., Bilir, T. E., . . . White, L. L. (Eds.). (2014). Summary for policymakers. Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (pp. 1–32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  30. Foucault, M. (1991). Governmentality. The Foucault effect: studies in governmentality, (87–104). G. Burchell, C. Gordon, & P. Miller. (Eds.). U.K.: Harvester/Wheatsheaf

  31. Friedkin NE (1982) Information flow through strong and weak ties in intraorganizational social networks*. Soc Networks 3:273–285

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Fukuyama F (2001) Social capital, civil society and development. Third World Q 22(1):7–20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Fukuyama F (2002) Social capital and development: the coming agenda. SAIS Rev 22(1):23–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Granovetter MS (1973) The strength of weak ties. Am J Sociol 78(6):1360–1380

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Guevara, M. M. (2004). The fiscal decentralization process in the Philippines: lessons from experience. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Fiscal Decentralization in Asia Revisited, 20–21 February 2004, Tokyo

  36. Gustafsson KM, Lidskog R (2018) Boundary organizations and environmental governance: performance, institutional design, and conceptual development. Climate Risk Management 19:1–11

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Halpern D, Mason D (2015) Radical incrementalism. Evaluation 21(2):143–149

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Hawken, P. (Ed.). (2017). Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. Penguin Books

  39. Hawkins R, Maurer K (2010) Bonding, bridging and linking: how social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Br J Soc Work 40(6):1777–1793

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Hiwasaki L, Luna E, Syamsidik S, Marçal JA (2015) Local and indigenous knowledge on climate-related hazards of coastal and small island communities in Southeast Asia. Clim Chang 128(1–2):35–56

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Innes JE, Booher DE, Di Vittorio S (2010) Strategies for megaregion governance. J Am Plan Assoc 77(1):55–67

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Lacy S, Watson BR, Riffe D, Lovejoy J (2015) Issues and best practices in content analysis. J Mass Commun Q 92(4):791–811

    Google Scholar 

  43. Laukkonen J, Blanco PK, Lenhart J, Keiner M, Cavric B, Kinuthia-Njenga C (2009) Combining climate change adaptation and mitigation measures at the local level. Habitat Int 33(3):287–292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Leck H, Simon D (2013) Fostering multiscalar collaboration and co-operation for effective governance of climate change adaptation. Urban Stud 50(6):1221–1238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Masud MM, Al-Amin AQ, Junsheng H, Ahmed F, Yahaya SR, Akhtar R, Banna H (2016) Climate change issue and theory of planned behaviour: relationship by empirical evidence. J Clean Prod 113:613–623

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. McGreavy B, Hutchins K, Smith H, Lindenfeld L, Silka L (2013) Addressing the complexities of boundary work in sustainability science through communication. Sustainability 5(10):4195–4221

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Meerow, S. (2017). Double exposure, infrastructure planning, and urban climate resilience in coastal megacities: a case study of Manila. Environment and Planning A, 0308518X1772363

  48. Mendoza R, Beja E Jr, Venida V, Yap D (2012) Inequality in democracy: insights from an empirical analysis of political dynasties in the 15th Philippine Congress. Philippine Political Science Journal 33(2):132–145

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Mitchell, C. L., & Laycock, K. E. (2017). Planning for adaptation to climate change: exploring the climate science-to-practice disconnect. Climate and Development

  50. Morley I (2018) City profile: Manila. Cities 72:17–33

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Moser SC (2010) Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions. WIRES: Clim Change 1:31–53

    Google Scholar 

  52. Moser SC (2016) Reflections on climate change communication research and practice in the second decade of the 21st century: what more is there to say? WIRES: Clim Change 7(3):345–369

    Google Scholar 

  53. Myeong S, Seo H (2016) Which type of social capital matters for building trust in government? Looking for a new type of social capital in the governance era. Sustainability 8(4):322

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Narayanan J, Tai K, Kinias Z (2013) Power motivates interpersonal connection following social exclusion. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 122(2):257–265

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Nerlich B, Koteyko N, Brown B (2010) Theory and language of climate change communication. WIREs Clim Change 1(1):97–110

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Ostrom, E., Schroeder, L., & Wynne, S. (1993). Institutional incentives and sustainable development: infrastructure policies in perspective. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

  57. Ourbak T, Magnan AK (2017) The Paris Agreement and climate change negotiations: small islands, big players. Reg Environ Chang:1–7

  58. Patterson J, Schulz K, Vervoort J, van der Hel S, Widerberg O, Adler C et al (2017) Exploring the governance and politics of transformations towards sustainability. Environ Innov Soc Trans 24:1–16

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Paul CJ, Weinthal ES, Bellemare MF, Jeuland MA (2016) Social capital, trust, and adaptation to climate change: evidence from rural Ethiopia. Glob Environ Chang 36:124–138

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Pelling M (1998) Participation, social capital and vulnerability to urban flooding in Guyana. J Int Dev 10:1469–1486

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Pelling, M. (2011). Adaptation to climate change: from resilience to transformation. New York: Routledge

  62. Pelling M, Dill K (2010) Disaster politics: tipping points for change in the adaptation of sociopolitical regimes. Prog Hum Geogr 34(1):21–37

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Pelling M, O’Brien K, Matyas D (2015) Adaptation and transformation. Clim Chang 133(1):113–127

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Pérez-Luño A, Medina CC, Lavado AC, Rodríguez GC (2011) How social capital and knowledge affect innovation. J Bus Res 64(12):1369–1376

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Petzold J, Ratter BMW (2015) Climate change adaptation under a social capital approach—an analytical framework for small islands. Ocean Coast Manag 112:36–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Porio E (2011) Vulnerability, adaptation, and resilience to floods and climate change-related risks among marginal, riverine communities in Metro Manila. Asian Journal of Social Science 39(4):425–445

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Porio E (2012) Decentralisation, power and networked governance practices in Metro Manila. Space Policy 16(1):7–27

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Porio E, Crisol C (2004) Property rights, security of tenure and the urban poor in Metro Manila. Habitat Int 28(2):203–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Purcell M (2009). Resisting Neoliberalization: Communicative Planning or Counter-Hegemonic Movements? Planning Theory 8(2):140–165. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473095209102232

  70. Putnam R (1995) Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital: an interview with Robert Putnam. J Democr 6(1):65–78

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. Putnam RD, Leonardi R, Nanetti R (1993) Making democracy work. Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

  72. Rojas H, Shah DV, Friedland LA (2011) A communicative approach to social capital. J Commun 61(4):689–712

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Romero-Lankao P, Bulkeley H, Pelling M, Burch S, Gordon DJ, Gupta J et al (2018) Urban transformative potential in a changing climate. Nat Clim Chang 8(9):754–756

    Article  Google Scholar 

  74. Sa CM, Li SX, Faubert B (2011) Faculties of education and institutional strategies for knowledge mobilization: an exploratory study. High Educ 61(5):501–512

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Sager T (2009) Responsibilities of theorists: the case of communicative planning theory. Prog Plan 72:1–51

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Sharpe J (2016) Understanding and unlocking transformative learning as a method for enabling behaviour change for adaptation and resilience to disaster threats. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 17:213–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Shatkin G (2002) Working with the community: dilemmas in radical planning in Metro Manila, the Philippines. Planning Theory & Practice 3(3):301–317

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Shatkin G (2005-2006) Colonial capital, modernist capital, global capital: the changing political symbolism of urban space in Metro Manila, the Philippines. Pac Aff 78(4):577–600

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Shatkin G (2008) The city and the bottom line: urban megaprojects and the privatization of planning in Southeast Asia. Environ Plan A 40(2):383–401

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Shaw A, Sheppard S, Burch S, Flanders D, Wiek A, Carmichael J et al (2009) Making local futures tangible—synthesizing, downscaling, and visualizing climate change scenarios for participatory capacity building. Glob Environ Chang 19(4):447–463

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Sheng YK (2010) Good urban governance in Southeast Asia. Environ Urban ASIA 1(2):131–147

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Shi L, Chu E, Anguelovski I, Aylett A, Debats J, Goh K et al (2016) Roadmap towards justice in urban climate adaptation research. Nat Clim Chang 6(2):131–137

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Singru, R. N., & Lindfield, M. (2014). Republic of the Philippines national urban assessment. Asian Development Bank, Publication Stock No. RPT146356. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/42817/philippines-national-urban-assessment.pdf. Accessed 16 Jan 2018.

  84. Sorenson O, Rogan M (2014) (When) do organizations have social capital? Annu Rev Sociol 40(1):261–280

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Szreter S, Woolcock M (2004) Health by association? Social capital, social theory, and the political economy of public health. Int J Epidemiol 33:650–667

    Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Tribbia J, Moser SC (2008) More than information: what coastal managers need to plan for climate change. Environ Sci Pol 11:315–328

    Article  Google Scholar 

  87. Tyler S, Moench M (2012) A framework for urban climate resilience. Climate and Development 4(4):311–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. Weick KE, Quinn RE (1999) Organizational change and development. Annu Rev Psychol 50:361–386

    Article  Google Scholar 

  89. Woolcock M (1998) Social capital and economic development: toward a theoretical synthesis and policy framework. Theory Soc 27(2):151–208

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Woolcock M, Narayan D (2000) Social capital: implications for development theory, research, and policy. World Bank Res Obs 15(2):225–249

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This research was generously funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship and an International Development Research Centre Doctoral Research Award. Gratitude is extended to many individuals at De La Salle University, Manila, especially Dr. Francisco Magno for network insights and in-roads while undertaking this research. We thank Dr. Sarah Burch, Dr. Jennifer Dean, Dr. Pierre Filion, and Xing Su for their recommendations throughout the research and writing processes. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge and thank the three anonymous reviewers who provided invaluable and detailed suggestions and comments to guide and enhance this final paper.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Katherine E. Laycock.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Laycock, K.E., Mitchell, C.L. Social capital and incremental transformative change: responding to climate change experts in Metro Manila. Climatic Change 152, 47–66 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-018-2360-6

Download citation