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Urban poor living with risk : exploring the dimensions of urban poverty: a case study on risk management capacities among the urban poor in Colombo, Sri Lanka
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The complex nature of urban poverty cannot be grasped by numbers and graphs. Urban poor survival strategies are subject to a number of challenges, derived from internal and external risks. Domestic illness or global economic fluctuations can have a severe impact on the livelihoods of the urban poor depending on day-to-day income. A contemporary trend within poverty research is to analyse urban vulnerability through a bottom-up approach, giving a voice to the poor. In order to enhance the prospects of poverty eradication strategies in a globalised world, there is a need to approach urban poverty as a contextual phenomenon, identifying the sources of vulnerability and understand the risk management strategies of the urban poor. This master thesis presents a qualitative study on the dimensions of urban poverty in Colombo, exploring how the urban poor manage to endure seasonal varieties and unforeseen events through informal risk management strategies. Findings of this study illustrate how urban poor’s capacities, and limitations, to prevent- mitigate- and cope with risk are determined by a range of economic and non-economic dimensions, at a micro and macro level.
Master thesis in development management- University of Agder, 2012