Confronting Crisis: A Comparative Study of Household by Caroline O. N. Moser

By Caroline O. N. Moser

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Extra resources for Confronting Crisis: A Comparative Study of Household Responses to Poverty and Vulnerability in Four Poor Urban Communities (Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs Series)

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Caroline O. N. Moser is a senior urban social policy specialist in the Transportation, Water, and Urban Development Department of the World Bank.  N.  Moser. p. cm.  8) ISBN 0-8213-3562-6 1. Urban poorCase studies. 2. Urban poorHousingCase studies. 3. Informal sector (Economics)Case studies. I. Title. II. Series. 5'09173'2dc20 95-52826 CIP Page iii CONTENTS Foreword vii Acknowledgments x Executive Summary 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 15 What Can Community Studies Contribute? 16 What the Study Found 17 Part I Conceptual Framework and Socioeconomic Characteristics of the Four Communities 21 Chapter 2 Poverty and Vulnerability 23 Vulnerability, Asset Ownership, and Coping Strategies 24 Criteria for Selecting Case Studies 26 Socioeconomic Characteristics of the Research Communities 27 Poverty Trends in the Research Communities 28 Part II Household Coping Strategies 29 Chapter 3 Labor As an Asset 32 Mobilizing Women's Paid Labor 32 Trends in Male Employment 33 Mobilizing Children's Labor 34 Benefits and Costs of the "Added Worker Effect" 35 Chapter 4 Economic and Social Infrastructure As an Asset 38 Improving Access to Infrastructure in the 1970s and 1980s 38 Increasing Human Capital 39 Declining Economic Infrastructure and the Ability to Pay 40 Shifting to Private Health and Education Services 42 Long-Term Implications of Declining Infrastructure 43 Page iv Chapter 5 Housing As an Asset 44 Vulnerability and the Land Market 44 Security of Tenure and Investment in Housing 45 Reducing Vulnerability through Home-Based Enterprises 47 Chapter 6 Household Relations As an Asset 48 Internal and External Forces in Household Restructuring 48 Different Communities, Similar Trends in Household Restructuring 49 Diverse Restructuring Strategies to Reduce Vulnerability 50 Chapter 7 Inequalities in Household Responses 53 Balancing Productive Work with Domestic Responsibilities 53 Balancing Responsibilities and Labor Supply Constraints 55 Decisionmaking and Resource Allocation within Households 55 Social Costs of Household Adjustments 56 Domestic Conflict and Violence 58 Chapter 8 Social Capital As an Asset 60 Settlement Consolidation, Social Capital, and Negotiating Skills 60 Social Capital under Conditions of Economic Crisis 61 Declining Time for Community Participation 62 Changing Norms of Legitimacy and Illegitimacy 63 Contradictory Trends in Social Capital Stocks 65 Chapter 9 Priorities for Action 67 Recommendations for Action 67 Tools for Strengthening the Assets of the Poor 69 Appendixes 1.

In 1975, after intense effort, the community gained the status of a barangay, a basic political unit. Yet the local government continued to discourage settlement, and its eviction threats persisted until 1987. A local NGO was key in averting eviction. Although the community has been gradually upgraded, the insecurity has deterred investment in housing and community mobilization for improved infrastructure. Access to water was provided in 1978, but cut off in 1984 because of unpaid bills. Government-supplied electricity reached the area in 1982.

Recognize the household, especially the extended household, as a basic safety net. Long-term support for the community's basic infrastructure needs may support households' efforts better than short-term transfers. And since many extended house-holds include "hidden" female heads of household, means are needed to target these women and their children directly. 2. Strengthen the asset base of the poor (beyond human capital) and the return to these assets. Interventions should address the priorities that the communities themselves identify.

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