Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Erika Frydenlund

Committee Member

Jennifer Fish

Committee Member

Hanne Haaland

Committee Member

Matthew DiLorenzo


The global migration crisis the world has experienced thus far is only the tip of the iceberg. As the earth’s temperature continues to warm and extreme weather conditions worsen, millions of people across the globe will be displaced, and women in particular will face more difficult challenges. What the climate migration literature fails to study is these longer-term impacts beyond sudden onset disasters. Governments and institutions will be forced to respond and adapt to the new reality resulting from the climate crisis. This research provides a case study of Morocco and, by using institutional ethnography, investigates how NGOs working in areas of development, gender and the environment are responding and adapting to the growing concerns of climate change in a country that is already seeing an increase in rural-to-urban migration flows due to the troubles of the agriculture industry. Moroccan girls are also at greater risk of child marriage and labor exploitation as a result of drought and the water crisis. Are NGOs becoming more aware of this nexus between climate, migration, gender and development? And to what extent are NGOs being stretched beyond their mandates in order to address their community’s pressing needs? My study of 30 NGOs’ online presence shows that Moroccan organizations are consciously aware that their work indirectly addresses the impacts of climate migration, but they do this unintentionally. The NGOs choose to put climate migration on the back-burner in order to fulfill short-term needs. This study provides a micro-level view that represents a much bigger problem of climate inaction at the global level.


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