Project : Climate displacement and resilience in vulnerable communities: A psychosocial approach in Manatí


Project : Climate displacement and resilience in vulnerable communities: A psychosocial approach in Manatí

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Project detail:
Status: Completed
Country: Colombia

In 2010-2011, the phenomenon called “La Niña”, also known as the “cold wave,” not only damaged property, but also affected populations physically and emotionally. The rupture of the Canal del Dique Dam, located on the border between the regions of Bolívar and Atlántico in Colombia, swept through seven municipalities, leaving more than 25,000 families at risk. This disaster particularly impacted areas with the most vulnerable populations: the homeless. One particularly affected population was located en Manatí, Atlántico. They had been precariously surviving for two years, affecting their development as a people and as a society.


Colombia, along with the rest of the world, is beginning to feel the effects of climate change. This has substantial implications for the development of public policy and planning for the country. The integration of the human and psychosocial dimension in climate research and policy-making allows for the comprehensive management of the issues of displacement and climate emergency situations. It allows for measures to help vulnerable communities prepare and adapt to future climate conditions. Furthermore, such considerations are much more cost effective than taking remedial actions in the future.


To validate the model to promote resilience (Amar, Abello, Evans y Kotliarenco, 2004) among families who have been displaced by severe weather events as a strategy of climate disaster prevention in rural areas. The project’s objectives were:

  • To create a base line for the identification of resilient attitudes of families who have been displaced by severe weather events in Manatí, Atlántico, Colombia.
  • To construct a model to promote resilience which is in accordance with the model created by Amar, Abello, Evans and Kotliarenco (2004) and includes self-evaluation, self-regulation, capacity building and social skills from the ecological perspective of human development.
  • To implement the model to promote resilience with displaced families from Manatí, Atlántico, Colombia.
  • To validate the model.

Principal outcomes

  • Outcome 1: The creation of a resilience scale and intervention model for communities who have been displaced by climate disasters.
  • Outcome 2: One article was submitted to the ISI magazine and two articles to the magazine INDEX.
  • Outcome 3: Two books about the principal finding of the research.
  • Other outcomes: Video documentary, Policy brief.


  • Direct Beneficiaries: 90 families who are victims of the severe weather wave of 2010 in the municipality of Manatí, Atlántico, Colombia.
  • Indirect Beneficiaries: Decision-makers (climate policy and risk management), communities at risk to climate change and the academy.

Project funding: £ 246,249 (£160,960 CDKN funding)

Implementing organisation: Universidad Del Norte


Final products of the project:

  • Policy brief: Climate displacement and resilient communities. Read / download here.
  • Book: Climate displacement and resilient communities
  • Article: ICTs and climate displacement
  • Article: An intervention model on climate displaced communities
  • Article: Experiencing climate displacement
  • Video about the project. Click here to watch.
  • Documentary: Growing up in adversity (short version / full version)