Original Research

Livelihood vulnerability index analysis: An approach to study vulnerability in the context of Bihar

Madhuri Madhuri, Hare R. Tewari, Pradip K. Bhowmick
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 6, No 1 | a127 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v6i1.127 | © 2014 Madhuri ., Hare R. Tewari, Pradip K. Bhowmick | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2014 | Published: 02 December 2014

About the author(s)

Madhuri Madhuri, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
Hare R. Tewari, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
Pradip K. Bhowmick, Rural Development Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India


Vulnerability is the capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of natural disasters. Floods add to the distressed conditions of the poor and vulnerable people in Bihar. Floods have a different impact on households depending on differences in their livelihood choices. Therefore, in order to identify the variability in vulnerability of affected households, the livelihood vulnerability index (LVI) of Hahn, Riederer and Foster was modified according to the context of the study area. The LVI aims to identify sources and forms of vulnerability that are specific to the context in order to design context-specific resilience measures. However, vulnerability and resilience are not interdependent but discrete entities. The study was conducted in the seven blocks of Bhagalpur district in the state of Bihar. Naugachia was found to be the least vulnerable because of better access to basic amenities and livelihood strategies, whilst Kharik was found to be highly vulnerable in respect to other blocks because of high sensitivity and less adaptive strategy. The study also revealed that better access to resources does not necessarily mean that households are adopting resilience measures because of apathetic or indifferent attitudes.


Vulnerability, Livelihood, Sensitivity, Adaptive capacity, Exposure


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