Abstract for: Integrating resilience into Monitoring and Evaluation of climate and development practices in Hindu-Kush Himalaya

Many mountain communities in Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region are shifting from traditional modes of livelihood to new sources of income. Our fieldwork in Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar informs that such transitions are driven by context-specific combinations of human aspirations, factors driving labor productivity, national policies, development and planned climate adaptation practices and resource bases. Social-ecological systems (SES) framework provides a conceptual lens to investigate such interdependencies between society and eco-systems and strives to explore the dynamic complexity across scales of household economy, resource systems and landscapes, and policy and development practices. Though it strives beyond the traditional indicator-based studies the vocabulary of this approach is difficult to translate to policymaking. There is an urgent need to integrate social-ecological resilience into Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) frameworks of development and climate adaptation projects in the HKH region to avoid maladaptation and sustain the well-being and development of mountain communities. Our study uses Systems thinking and Systems Dynamics modelling as a method to explore the dynamics of livelihood transitions in three Himalayan contexts, their tradeoffs and opportunities for human well-being, and derives three-interdependent-Change Areas for M&E to target as resilience markers in future projects for climate adaptation and development in the region.