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Universal Truths and Hidden Realities

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  1. Universal Truths and Hidden Realities - chronic poverty in rural Ethiopia Laura Camfield, UEA and Keetie Roelen, IDS

  2. Context: Poverty in rural Ethiopia • Big drops in poverty rates However – • Disparities between regions • Seasonal fluctuations • Persistent group of chronically poor and food insecure Source: MoFED, 2010 DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  3. Child poverty rates Transition analyses show that 13% of households have been poor across all three rounds (2002-9) DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  4. Young Lives data • Ethiopia (rural sites and older cohort only) • 3 rounds of quan data: 2002, 2006, 2009 • Qual data from 8 sites in 2008, 2009 DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  5. Methodology QUAL QUAL QUAN QUAN developing classification of an emic children and households taxonomy (ultra-poor, poor, nearly poor, not-poor) Papers: Roelen and Camfield, 2012; Camfield and Roelen, 2012a; Camfield and Roelen, 2012b DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen


  6. Content analysis - Causes of poverty DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  7. Qualitative Comparative Analysis Causes of poverty • Most common combination of causes (41% of cases) were: • i) climate, typically lack of rainfall • ii) family illness • iii) lack of labour • iv) high food prices DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  8. Demographic characteristics associated with poverty • Female household head • Young household head (<35 years) • Disabled household head • Divorced, single or widowed head • More female than male labour within the household • Education of household head appeared to have no effect DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  9. Life course concepts (1) • No single theory, but some common elements • Structure and agency • Tactics/ getting by vs. strategies • Critique of life stages (age norms, biographical scripts, ‘other’ life courses) • Heyman (2009) – the waged life course vs. generational sequencing in Sonora, Mexico • Lives characterised by turning points, fateful or critical moments, vital conjunctures (‘zones of possibility’) DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  10. Life course concepts (2) • Individuals and their social connections (families, peers, etc.) • Macro level change and institutions • Mayer – transition of former soviet countries, Elder – great depression, USA • Influence of early life; cumulative effects (e.g. Rutter and children’s resilience) • O’Rand, 1996 - stratification over the life course • Timing of events matters (and interventions?) DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  11. Complementary ideas • Subjunctivity (Whyte) • what people as subjects are trying to do - what they are hoping for, how they deal with their life conditions, and how things unfold for them over time (p171) • Social navigation (Vigh) • relationship between choices and the social bonds in which they are embedded in a volatile and interactive environment • Relationality (Bledsoe, Lamb, Locke) • inherently relational, made up of networks of ties that they share with other people, places and things (Lamb, 1997:297) • Chance (di Nunzio, Cooper, others...) • promises reversibility of trajectories of marginalisation and exclusion but can be illusory • ‘Managing’ (Langevang) or bricolage DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  12. WukroTagesu Socio-cultural institutions • Education ended early due to marriage • Conflict with neighbour over land State institutions • Healthcare – asset sale, drop out from school • Excluded from PSNP Events • Husband’s health affected by Eritrean war • Two years of crop failure DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen

  13. What can a life course lens show us? • Quantitative analysis flags risk (female household head) and cumulative disadvantage • We also see effects of institutions (social protection, healthcare, attitudes to women’s education and landowning) and historical events (Eritrean war) • And the timing of her husband’s death while her children were still young • She is embedded in relationships, but has few social ‘resources’ • Still, she is ‘managing’ and pursuing a hoped for if uncertain future through her children’s education DSA 2012_Camfield and Roelen