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Access to livelihood assets: inclusion, exclusion, and the reality of development interventions


Geiser, Urs; Bottazzi, Patrick; Epprecht, Michael; Fokou, Gilbert; Fritschi, Astrid; Ramakumar, Ramasubramonian; Shahbaz, Babar; Steimann, Bernd; Strasser, Balz (2011). Access to livelihood assets: inclusion, exclusion, and the reality of development interventions. In: Wiesmann, Urs; Hurni, Hans. Research for Sustainable Development: Foundations, Experiences, and Perspectives. Bern: Universität Bern, 313-330.

Abstract

In development studies with a focus on livelihoods, assets (also referred to as resources, capital, or means) represent a crucial dimension that influences people’s ability to secure a livelihood. Lack of access to land, water, or education often leads to poverty. The present paper summarises research findings from an international research network, the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, regarding the crucial relation between such assets and access to them. It brings together insights obtained in studies around the globe as to why some people are excluded from access to assets. Beyond this, it raises the question of whether gaining access is sufficient – does access to resources in itself lead to benefits, or do we need to broaden the concept of access? In addressing these and other questions, this review of NCCR North-South research embeds the concepts of assets and access within a broader understanding of contested political processes, informed by contemporary social science debates. In the concluding section, this enhanced understanding of social realities is contrasted with social analyses underpinning (donor-supported) development interventions.

In development studies with a focus on livelihoods, assets (also referred to as resources, capital, or means) represent a crucial dimension that influences people’s ability to secure a livelihood. Lack of access to land, water, or education often leads to poverty. The present paper summarises research findings from an international research network, the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, regarding the crucial relation between such assets and access to them. It brings together insights obtained in studies around the globe as to why some people are excluded from access to assets. Beyond this, it raises the question of whether gaining access is sufficient – does access to resources in itself lead to benefits, or do we need to broaden the concept of access? In addressing these and other questions, this review of NCCR North-South research embeds the concepts of assets and access within a broader understanding of contested political processes, informed by contemporary social science debates. In the concluding section, this enhanced understanding of social realities is contrasted with social analyses underpinning (donor-supported) development interventions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:30 Apr 2012 13:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:46
Publisher:Universität Bern
Series Name:Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South
Number:6
ISBN:978-3-905835-31-1
Additional Information:Ist gleichzeitig in der Reihe Geographica Bernensia erschienen
Official URL:http://www.nccr-north-south.unibe.ch/publications/Infosystem/On-line%20Dokumente/Upload/15_Geiser_Assets(1).pdf
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-61723

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