• logo linkedin
  • logo email
underwater mosque, Indonesia
Climate change and variability in South East Asia (SEA) has been remarkable in the past 20 years. The peculiarity of the economy and societal structure of SEA has an impact on how these effects will be distributed across the population. The main objective of this project is to investigate the impact of climate variability on social inequality in Vietnam and Indonesia with the purpose of informing and influencing policy dialogues and development around issues of climate variability and social inequality.

Climate change and variability in South East Asia (SEA) has been remarkable in the past 20 years. In this study we focus on Vietnam and Indonesia. These two countries are among the fastest growing lower-middle income countries in the region. They are also among the worst affected by climate extreme in the past decades, ranking 6th and 50th in the Climate Risk Index (2017), respectively. However, their poverty and inequality patterns and trends are remarkably different. Although reducing at a significant pace, poverty in Indonesia persists at much higher rate than in Vietnam (ADB, 2019).

Inequality patterns also differ and have specific country level peculiarities that makes each of these countries an interesting case study. A recent UNESCAP report suggests that, between 1990-2014, despite the similar economic growth, inequality has been increasing steadily in Vietnam and even more in Indonesia. Finally, inequality driving factors are also quite dissimilar, with ethnicity and remoteness, and rural-urban divide and migration, being predominant factors respectively in Vietnam and Indonesia. 

This project is part of the European Facility for a research program on Inequalities in Developing and Emerging Countries, which is coordinated by the AFD. Financed by the Development Cooperation Instrument of the European Union, this facility enables to implement 20 research projects over the 2017-2020 period, in partnership with donors and research centers from the South to the North. 


The main purpose of this study will be two-fold:

  • to provide policy makers with a substantial evidence base to target social equity and equality interventions effectively
  • and to strategically inform the enforcement of social protection policies that are able to capture the climate-inequality nexus while maintaining a high degree of climate and poverty sensitivity and responsiveness.

The outputs of the project will be tailored to specific national priorities in terms of climate change and inequality via the direct engagement with policy makers and local experts. Advocacy, consultations and capacity building exercises carried out throughout the project will ensure that the research will address relevant evidence gaps to inform the dialogues for climate-inequality-sensitive decision making in Vietnam and Indonesia. 


Using a combination of repeated cross section analysis, panel analysis, synthetic panel analysis, we will investigate the relationship between climate variability and inequality at four levels:

  • average impact – national level – entire population;
  • average impact – national level – entire population by deciles of income distribution;
  • impact at sub-national level – population located in hot-spots - vis-à-vis average/national impact (hot spots will be identified using the comprehensive climate data and the unit of analysis defined accordingly);
  • impact at sub-national level – most vulnerable groups: ethnic minority, female headed HHs, etc.

The main outputs will be: 

  • One  complete research article to be published as Working Paper (in CGIAR and AFD Working Paper series for instance) of good quality for submission in Peer reviewed journals
  • One study policy brief in the AFD Policy Brief Series detailing the core contributions to the literature and results of the study
  • Two country policy briefs in the AFD Policy Brief Series detailing for each country the most salient aspects, results and recommendations forward.

You may find the research paper here:
Who bears the burden of climate variability? A comparative analysis of the impact of weather conditions on inequality in Vietnam and Indonesia?

You may find the policy briefs here:
- Climate variability and inequality: Comparing the experiences of Indonesia and Vietnam
The impact of climate variability on inequality: Evidence from Indonesia
The impact of climate variability on inequality: Evidence from Vietnam


You can also find below the two webinars based on the research paper "Who bears the burden of climate variability? A comparative analysis of the impact of weather conditions on inequality in Vietnam and Indonesia?". 

These two events sought to reflect on the impacts that the current climate crisis has on the most vulnerable in Vietnam and Indonesia and to answer the following questions: Is climate variability regressive? Or better does climate variability impacts more on those who are less able to cope with its consequences? And if so, what can we do to ensure an equal, sustainable economic development for all?

Webinar on Vietnam:
Cecile Leroy, Programme Manager, European Delegation in Hanoi, Vietnam (EU)
Hai-Anh Dang, Senior Economist, Development Data Group, World Bank (WB)
Janto S. Hess, Climate Change Adaptation Consultant (UNDP) 
Nguyen Ngo Huy, Senior Climate Change Advisor, Oxfam in Vietnam (OXFAM)
Phuong Vu, Senior Officer at International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam (ICD/MARD) 


Webinar on Indonesia:
Athia Yumna
, Deputy Director of Research and Outreach, The SMERU Research Institute
Henriette Faergemann, First Counsellor, Environment, Climate Action and ICT, Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia (EU)
Maliki Achmad, Director for Poverty Alleviation and Community Empowerment, Indonesia Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS)
Mubariq Ahmad, Country Director, Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) Indonesia


Project start date
Project end date
Vietnam and Indonesia
100 000
Financing amount

Cécilia Poggi, Research Officer, AFD
Dr Grazia Pacillo

The content of this project information sheet falls under the sole responsibility of the AFD and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Union.