International Development Planning Review

Vulnerability among slum dwellers in Lucknow, India: Implications for urban livelihood security

International Development Planning Review (2005), 27, (3), 333–358.

Abstract

This paper examines the factors associated with vulnerability among households living in twelve slums in Lucknow, India. It does so using a mixed methods approach, combining findings from focus group discussions regarding characteristics of vulnerable households with quantitative results from a household survey in the same slums to determine the extent of convergence between understandings of vulnerability from the two data sources. The findings support a high level of agreement around the following key characteristics of vulnerable households: few workers and workers in irregular, casual work types; low and irregular income levels; large household sizes and high numbers of children, particularly girls; female heads of household; exposure to ill health; low education and literacy levels; poor housing quality and lack of home ownership; few social resources; and the inability to save and avoid debt. The results provide indications of what types of interventions are necessary to improve livelihood security among the urban poor in Lucknow, with employment-related interventions seemingly most important since access to work and adequate income were the most mentioned vulnerability factors.

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Author details

Kantor, Paula

Nair, Padmaja