About the project
Dynamics of Poverty, Inequality and Violence in Indian Cities: Towards Inclusive Policies and Planning
Institute for Human Development (IHD) and Centre for Urban Equity (CUE), CEPT University are working on a project jointly funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Department for International Development (DFID), entitled “Planning and Policies for Inclusiveness: Understanding the Drivers of Poverty, Inequality and Violence in Indian Cities”. The project is part of IDRC’s wider global research programme called “Safe and Inclusive Cities”, which aims to understand and research links between urban poverty, inequality and violence in order to inform urban research and policy.
- Research Scope
The exclusionary urban visions, planning and governance have provided structural conditions for aggravation of conflicts into violence. In fact, we are witnessing a situation where in urban areas with high economic growth are becoming sites of increasing urban conflict and violence and this project seeks to explore the nature of urban planning and governance as a key driver of this violence. Given that India has large policy diversities at the regional and urban levels, it will provide a vast canvas of different urban structural contexts thus allowing investigation of diverse linkages between urban development policies, historically entrenched and evolving fragmentations and conflicts, and various types and experiences of violence.
This project seeks to be an exploratory one to study an under researched issue whose importance is being acknowledged both in research and policy circles. This research work also proposes to extend the existing knowledge base on this topic in India. It aims to inform urban policy, planning and governance on the fall-outs of exclusionary versus inclusionary approaches on conflicts and violence in cities.
Both the participating institutions have worked extensively in the domain of urban poverty, exclusions, deprivations, conflicts and violence. IHD has worked on deprivations, inequality, conflicts and violence in many urban contexts in India, in varied cities such as Delhi, Patna and Ranchi. The CEPT University, has worked on ways of understanding the urban planning paradigm and exclusions, assessment of bottom-up and top-down shelter programmes, and urban land policies.
However, the links between planning and governance, on one hand, and conflicts and violence, on the other, have not been observed and hence the pathways through which these links are made are also unknown, to both the institutions as well as to Indian policy-making, in general. The proposed research project aims to inform urban policy, plan-making and governance systems on the fall-outs of exclusionary versus inclusionary approaches on conflicts and violence in cities.
Inclusive urban planning and governance can play a significant role in de-escalating urban tensions, conflicts, and violence in the context of India. Conversely, exclusive urban planning and governance can become the drivers of urban violence.
- Specific Objectives:
- To assess the linkages between urban planning mechanisms, endemic deprivations and inequalities, and urban violence in the select cities.
- To map the morphology of the selected cities and its geographies of urban violence and analytically assess how this is shaped by urban governance and planning mechanisms.
- To document and analytically assess the responses of urban poor and marginalized groups to violence emanating from endemic deprivations and inequalities created by these mechanisms.
- To document and analytically assess interventions in which mechanisms of urban planning and governance are used to mitigate conflicts and violence, and to inform policy through these.
- To document case studies of positive and innovative conflict resolution and violence reduction strategies used by the communities themselves, and to inform policy through these.
- Specific Objectives:
- Conceptual Framework
Understanding how certain pre-conditions such as ideology, political and economic structure, political ideology, level of urbanisation and development paradigm shape urban violence in terms of:
- Drivers- How mechanisms of planning and governance such as land policies and legislations, access to basic services, public finance paradigm and spaces for participation (lack of) become drivers of exclusion and urban violence?
- Impact- These could have severe socio-economic and psychological costs on the poor on account of denial of basic services, loss of livelihoods, poor quality of life and direct physical violence which can affect social ties and enhance differences
- Interventions-Considering inclusive urban planning and its governance as a mitigating mechanism rather than dealing with post-violence measures
- Response mechanisms- Whether they are in the form of social mobilisation, or violent reactions or other socio-cultural processes of coping
Phase 1- Detailed and extensive secondary research (analysis of Indian, international, media, policy documents, Master Plans and budgets) to help in selection of cities and prepare for primary research. This also includes the collection of data based on national data sets like the Census, National Statistical Survey (NSS) and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to obtain socio-economic indicators such as literacy rate, work participation rate, poverty rates, sex ratio and to juxtapose them against the indicators of crime and violence.
Phase 2- Exploratory visits to the selected cities and organise consultation with relevant stakeholders and key informants in order to generate discussion regarding the methodology as well as selection of case study locales.
Phase 3- Carrying qualitative and quantitative research among different socio-economic groups in the selected locales.
Phase 4- Monitoring and evaluation of the research project, methodology training and dissemination of project findings through a mid-project workshop, final project conference, and various publications
- State and City Selection
Given the widely debated association between poverty and violence, the initial selection of cities were based on crime rates from the NCRB and poverty levels in each city
- Delhi is ranked 4 out of 35 states and union territories in terms of total cognizable crimes rate and 16 in terms of poverty levels (percentage of population below poverty line) as per the Tendulkar Method (High crime and low poverty)
- Assam is ranked 13 out of 35 states and union territories in terms of total cognizable crimes rate and ranked 28 in terms of poverty levels (percentage of population below poverty line) as per the Tendulkar Method (High crime and high poverty)
- Gujarat is ranked 16 out of 35 states and union territories in terms of total cognizable crimes rate and 17 in terms of poverty levels (percentage of population below poverty line) as per the Tendulkar Method (Low crime and low poverty)
- Bihar is ranked 24 in crime out of 35 states and union territories in terms of total cognizable crimes rate and 34 in terms of poverty levels (percentage of population below poverty line) as per the Tendulkar Method (Low crime and high poverty)
- The capital cities of these states were taken for the study
- Research Tools
- Social mapping, institutional mapping and locality histories using timelines, maps
- Semi-structured interviews with relevant stakeholders ranging from political representatives, policy makers, police, informed individuals and victim-survivors and perpetrators
- Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with interest groups and mixed groups, some of which would be carried out through participatory methods.
- Safety audits, especially with women and children, by taking walks with them around their locality, and identifying the areas and factors associated with planning and infrastructure that they associate with insecurity.
- Case studies of selected respondents with unique experiences and coping mechanisms will be discussed.
- The use of victimisation surveys of the households of participants will be presented
- Triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods
- State and City Selection