Posts tagged under Pro-poor issues
The Asian Trends team conducted a survey among urban poor residents in Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi and Vientiane. The questions covered basic services such as water, sanitation, health care, education as well as access to financial services. Here is a short preview of the survey results in the area of financial inclusion.
Four out of five respondents did not have a bank account. More than half of respondents still keep their savings in cash hidden at home. The majority of respondents are employed in the informal economy, struggling to make enough money to feed their families every day. Thus, even a single emergency, such as urgent medical treatment for a family member, can wipe out a family’s entire savings. The survey also showed that 53% of respondents have severe difficulties to save at all.
Despite the fact that at least a handful of Microfinance institutions (MFI) currently offer their services in each of the cities included in our survey, the vast majority of the urban poor in Southeast Asia fly below their radar. With incomes below US$2/day, they are a difficult and often not very profitable client group. Several MFIs confirmed that they prefer to lend to the “upper poor”: households that have some existing working capital, a certain level of business acumen, and more reliable revenue streams.
The following is the second in a series of posts by guest writers María del Mar Garza and Rafael Barreto Souza. Their writings are based on an Anticipatory Policy Development Report done with Gautam Wahi and Saqib Manam as part of the Foresight and Public Policy Course at Lee Kuan Yew Shool of Public Policy under the supervision of Dr. Jose Ramos and with the support of the Asian Trends Monitoring.
An extensive analysis of datasets, testimonies, news stories and academic literature allowed us to identity five main drivers of the slums phenomenon in Metro Manila in the current policy state of affairs by using a systems mapping methodology: (1) government policy implementation; (2) political will; (3) employment; (4) real estate; and (5) poverty alleviation.
1. Government Policy Implementation
So far the Filipino government has faced difficulties in carrying out housing-related budget allocation in coordination with the LGUs (Asian Trends Monitoring 2012). Past policies towards slums in Manila have focused on relocating slum dwellers to newly built brickwork housing flats in peripheral areas. These policies have been ineffective and the limited housing units developed were incompatible with demand (Takahashi 2006).
If this trend continues over time the results will be ‘too-little-too-gradual’ to have any significant impact.
Did you know?
- Less than 20% of cities publish their needs
- Cities know about less than 10% of solutions available to them
- Almost 90% of cities do not trust information from providers
Citymart.com is a platform to connect cities and providers to improve the lives of citizens around the world. It is focused on making the process of problem definition, research, customised solutions and deployment easier and more cost-effective for all stakeholders involved. In the presentation below, Citymart’s CEO Sascha Haselmayer, explains their newest initiative Cities Pilot to End Poverty.
Cities Pilot to End Poverty is a 2-year programme designed by Citymart.com & Dublin City Council and endorsed by the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) and the UNDP to find the most promising solutions around the world to fight poverty in our communities and implement them in real life.
By showcasing newly developed technology or innovative approaches on Citymart.com, cities can share with each other and even benefit from their own solutions. Among the benefits are not only international recognition and shared continued development but even a new revenue model. Worldwide, there are roughly 556,000 local governments spending more than 10% of GDP on public services. However, the overwhelming majority of local governments do not make their issues public.
Happy Lunar New Year!
The Asian Trends Monitoring team would like to use the opportunity at the beginning of the Year of the Snake to share with you our research publications from the past year.
For the first time ever, the team collected primary data from poor urban communities in Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi and Vientiane. Our survey on urban poverty and service provision had a total of 1,400 respondents, and granted valuable insights into the difficulties faced by the urban poor.
You find the results in the four Bulletins of the ATM Urban Poverty Series published so far.
Download all issues for free at http://bit.ly/All_ATM_Bulletins
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Throughout 2013, we will continue this series by comparing key themes such as education, health and financial access across these cities and the rest of Southeast Asia.
We are looking forward to your feedback and wish you prosperity in the year to come.
The following is the first in a series of posts by guest writers María del Mar Garza and Rafael Barreto Souza. Their writings are based on an Anticipatory Policy Development Report done with Gautam Wahi and Saqib Manam as part of the Foresight and Public Policy Course at Lee Kuan Yew Shool of Public Policy under the supervision of Dr. Jose Ramos and with the support of the Asian Trends Monitoring.
Slums in Metropolitan Manila are one of the major challenges faced in the Philippines for the next decades. In 2010, over 4 million people resided in slums, accounting for an estimated 40% of the capital’s population (M. M. Ballesteros, 2010). Located on formerly vacant lands, privately and publicly owned, they often spring along flood-prone riverbanks, garbage dumps, railroad tracks, and next to polluting industries (Ragragio, 2003, pág. 5).
Initially, it is important to find a workable definition for slums, particularly since in Tagalog the word slum has no direct equivalent. Shacks are interchangeably called: iskwater (adaptation from “squatter”), estero (smelly canals); eskinita (narrow alleys); looban (inaccessible inner slum areas); dagat-dagatan (flood-prone); bedspacer (bunk bedding rental accommodation for transient workers) (UN-Habitat, 2003, pág. 10). The definition used for this analysis is one enshrined by UN-HABITAT, which defines a “slum household as a group of individuals living under the same roof in an urban area who lack one or more of the following:
Guest contributor Bianca Ayasha is a 2nd year MPP student at LKY SPP.
Last January, Jakarta was hit with the biggest flood in the last six years. According to the National Disaster Relief Agency, 20 people have died from the floods, while over 15,000 people have been displaced. The Jakarta Provincial Government estimated economic losses of 20 trillion Rupiah.
Flood has become a yearly occurrence in Jakarta during the rainy season, between October and mid-February. During the rainy season, rainfall ranges around 150-200 millimeters per day, compared to 50 millimeters per day in the rest of the year. Furthermore, as 40% of Jakarta area is located under sea level, Jakarta also receives loads of rain water from higher elevation areas such as Depok and Bogor. Drainage piping under Jakarta’s roads cannot accommodate such huge amounts of water because they are too small and too old. Most water catchment areas in Jakarta have also been either turned into slums or high-rise buildings.
Cities occupy only 2% of the earth’s surface, but 53% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Rural-urban migration is a global megatrend with millions of people leaving their original livelihoods behind by seeking new opportunities in the world’s cities. When looking at growth by the hour Delhi, Kinshasa, Dhaka, Mumbai and Karachi stand out with population growth rates between 43 and 49 people per hour.
That’s more than 400,000 people in a single year. The infographic reveals that wealthier countries still account for much higher rates of pollution and consumption per capita, but the numbers are shifting. Rapid urbanisation in developing countries has severe consequences for the environment as well as the people. Providing access to services and building adequate infrastructure to cope with the steady stream of urban migrants has already become a huge challenge. Often, the migrants have less (work) opportunities and little access to services compared to the cities’ inhabitants. The ATM urban poverty series has highlighted many of these challenges throughout 2012.
ATM # 20 on the state of education policies for the urban poor will be out in a few weeks’ time. Before we publish the issue, we’d like to engage in some preliminary discussions about the state of education policies in the Southeast Asian cities that we visited (Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi, Vientiane).
All of the cities we visited have had some form of free education policy for quite some time. Jakarta and Manila have had compulsory and free education for primary school level for years. Hanoi and Vientiane have heavy education subsidies for the poorest households in each neighborhood or district. Has this been enough to lift the barriers of school fees and encourage poor households to enroll their children in school?
Perhaps not quite yet.
As seen in the results of the ATM urban poverty surveys, the majority of poor households still find school fees burdensome to the household budget. From observations on the field, there are two main causes to this problem:
1. The amount subsidized by “free education” is not enough, because students still incur costs outside of tuition fees, such as books, transportation, and the opportunity cost of not working.
By 2050 there will be 9 billion people on the planet – but will there be enough food for everyone? Food security expert Dr Evan Fraser guides you through a whiteboard presentation of his solution to the Global Food Crisis.
Many experts are worried that the 21st century will be a hungry one. Population growth and changing diets mean that our demand for food is rising fast. Climate change, dwindling water supplies, and high energy prices are set to make food harder, and more expensive to produce. Add to this, the fact that currently almost a billion people go hungry every night and we have to conclude that the world food system is in a very serious crisis.
In 2012, we traveled to four cities and conducted a survey on the challenges for the urban poor. The result are four bulletins containing primary data and case studies from the field.