RISING IN URBAN OPPORTUNITIES - How Households and Groups of Acholi Quarter in Kampala City Respond to Opportunities, Master Entitlements, and Develop Entrepreneurship Skills in Order to Succeed in Securing Livelihoods
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This book is about how households and groups of Acholi Quarter in Kampala City respond to opportunities, master entitlements, and develop entrepreneurship skills in their quest to succeed in securing livelihoods. It is a contribution to the ongoing debate and pursuit for sustainable strategies of how to lift households out of poverty without inducing their dependence on aid, whether local or foreign. It is consequent from efforts that the development assistance industry has gone through, trudging on for decades, yet ‘underdevelopment’ and extreme poverty profoundly exist in our midst. My motivation to delve into this study, stemmed from the fact that there is no straight answer for external agencies and a void still exists on how to intervene and what to do in circumstances where low income and other forms of vulnerabilities threaten the capacity of household to take full responsibility and succeed in their development objectives. In addition, it partly follows my own life experience that was largely transformed because of the opportunities that I made sense of and utilized. And then, my professional background as an urban planner; whereby the use of the orthodox synoptic planning is ebbing fast and there is need for a different approach in the face of increased slums and market forces and social safety nets that are difficult to plan, yet they are crucial in building livelihood assets of the urban poor. The study was carried out using existing documents and Archival records, interviews, group discussions, direct observations, and photographic records of successful households and the less successful ones. The findings are that households responded to opportunities and their entitlements in various ways by using strategies such as social capital, skills, savings and strategic financial investments in projects that either had a high turn-over or enabled them to succeed in securing livelihood and development objectives. Other factor that play a critical role for household success or failure are, the role of external forces like; NGOs in the transfer of skills, financial capital and other entitlements to households. Equally important is the role of timing in the access of opportunities to master one’s entitlements. Timing is often influenced by externalities such as civil wars and other political instabilities. The study concludes that development in the context of low income households is the process of discovering oneself and the ability to have free access to the opportunities that have capacity to transform the self discovery into sustainable livelihoods. Development for the poor is a concept that is constructed to achieve short-term objectives for a particular time period and it is defined by peoples’ priorities. That development is not an easy notion to achieve. Nevertheless, the development assistance industry should not be discouraged, for if perhaps they partly understood development in the context of his study, then the conscious or unseen benefits to recipient s of aid, however small they seem to be, they create an impact Finally, that the development assistance industry ought to build on the existing emerging enterprising households in informal settlements and other poor areas. For the case of Acholi Quarter, with existing households and groups engaged in various income generating projects, this study proposes an avenue where households meet to exchange ideas and opportunities; an intervention such as a built open air market is proposed as a minimum intervention intended to achieve multiple objectives.