Framework and methodology

Overview of the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework – a gendered approach

We utilize the above disaggregated conception of gendered institutions, rules, norms and effects to identify the corresponding interplay by applying the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework (Ostrom 1990). The framework strengthens existing analyses on gender roles and responsibilities, furthering understanding of how gendered dynamics shape differential vulnerability in the context of perceived climate change in rural agrarian settings across three elevations of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Our categorization of elements within each study site according to the IAD framework yields the analytical framework in Figure 10.1.

Conceptual framework of the study. Source

Figure 10.1 Conceptual framework of the study. Source: modified and adopted from Ostrom et al., 1994, p. 1.

204 Vani Rijhwani et al.

The conceptual unit of the IAD framework is called the Action Arena. The action arena is shaped by an action situation that involves actors and their interactions in a particular context following certain rules. The action situation is referred to as a social space where actors interact, exchange goods and services, solve problems or fight; the actors are those who participate in the situation. In the present context, gendered institutions represent the action arena; action situations are activities related to agriculture and accessing water for domestic purposes; and the actors are men and women in the study sites.

The action arena is conceptualized amid a context of external factors representing the initial conditions that actors face (as presented in the first box of Figure 10.1). It establishes the possible pattern of interactions and actors’ perceptions that are yielded within a particular situation. The initial conditions are broadly categorized by the underlying biophysical conditions, community conditions and rules in use that shape the access to and activities the actors perform. Biophysical conditions focus on tangible assets (e.g., natural, physical, and financial assets) both in terms of location and seasonal distribution present within the study site as presented in Table 10.1. Community conditions are intangible assets such as time, knowledge, social standing, networks, perception and habits (ways of carrying oneself and interacting with others) (Di Gregorio et al. 2019). These are broadly categorized into social and human assets. Rules in use refer to a range of prevailing social norms (rules) within a particular action situation and decision-making arrangements, both formal and informal. The ways actors interact and the relative importance of different action assets is shaped by the rules. Patterns of interaction hinge upon actors’ perceptions and may result in outcomes that can be evaluated in terms of their efficiency, equity or other dimensions.

Table 10.1 Studied biophysical and community assets

Biophysical Conditions (Tangible Assets)

Community Conditions (Intangible Assets)






Natural resource stocks including land, water, forest and agriculture land etc.

Access to roads, to communication such as radio and telephone, and to farming tools

Income (from on- and non-farm activities), access to credit

Time, knowledgi Bonding, membership of (in) formal organizations (SHGs, Panchayat Raj) and linking networks within the village

e The ability' to labour and access to skills training, perceptions, habits

Moreover, gendered institutions directly or indirectly shape and are shaped by the interactions between actors and action situations. Our study framework presents the key patterns emerging from interactions within the gendered institutions in all our study sites.

Further, the IAD framework also conceptualizes multiple levels of analysis by considering nested characteristics of rules governing the institutional arrangements. It postulates three levels of institutional rules: operational, collective choice and constitutional choice. Operational rules define decisions corresponding to the set of questions on how, when, what and where. Collective choice rules define decisions that correspond to how operational rules can be changed and who can change them. Constitutional choice rules govern the eligibility of participants to change and define the collective choice rules. These rules help us inform the level of interaction between different action settings, day-to-day decision-making processes and the associated climate effect. For the present study, only the operational rules are considered. Actions are taken or decisions about future actions are made by individual actors operating at this level and are based on the set of institutional arrangements within which they operate, such as the intra-household division of labour, as explained in subsequent sections of this chapter. Who can change the rules and who is eligible to change the rules is beyond the purview of the current study, as it requires deeper studies over several points in time of the traditional and cultural system of the gendered institutions.

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