Bangladesh has low levels of urbanization but a high urban population in absolute terms, being one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Rapid urbanization in developing countries brings numerous problems and challenges; urban poverty is one important issue. This important volume presents the findings of a complex and revealing multidisciplinary cohort study conducted in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Detailed information was assembled on material, social and economic conditions, livelihoods, health and nutritional status. Together with associated qualitative work, the data forms the basis for understanding groups who are vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and stresses, and for differentiating strategies which might be adaptive in situations of hardship and scarcity. The author examines many aspects of poverty and vulnerability including livelihoods, work disabling illness and coping strategies, the female workforce, women’s negotiation and well being, marital instability, child labour, and investments in health and nutrition, and utilizes the assembled material to debate on policy options.
'It is well known that there is a lack of policy related data and information on the livelihood strategies of the urban poor, and this book goes a long way towards filling the gap in relation to urban slums in Bangladesh. Its sections on nutrition, coping strategies and gender equality will be of use to a wide audience. The book is innovative - and thorough - by one of the best researchers on urban poverty of our generation.' Dr Tony Beck, University of British Columbia, Canada 'Urban poverty is a serious challenge for developing countries which are increasingly urbanised at a rapid rate. This important volume examines a wide range of multi-disciplinary issues on livelihoods in urban slums in Dhaka and opens the debate on the policy implications for a range of stakeholders in Bangladesh. Without doubt an essential read for anyone researching poverty and vulnerability in urban environments of developing societies.' Professor Prakash Shetty, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Italy 'It is valuable…in demonstrating how quantitative investigation techniques can usefully elucidate a complex set of poverty livelihood and health relationships.' Development Policy Review
Contents: Introduction; Poverty and vulnerability; Study design and methods; Livelihood clusters; Marital instability; Child labour; Female workforce and the family; Investing in health; Work disabling morbidity; Strategies for coping with costs of work disabling ill health among household heads; Women's negotiation control and well-being within the households; Factors affecting adult body mass index; Investing in children's nutritional status; Intra-household distribution of nutritional vulnerability; Managing financial shocks and stresses; Policy implications; Bibliography; Index.