ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Exclusion, Poverty and Urban Governance

Urban Poverty, Local Governance and Everyday Politics in Mumbai by Joop De Wit, Routledge South Asian Edition, 2017; pp 320, ₹795.

Empowering Women Parshads in Dehradun Municipal Council

The need for capacity building of municipal councillors, particularly women, is well established. This article outlines an approach to “empowering” women municipal councillors by expanding their possibilities for “self-becoming.” Drawing upon empirical research on the lived experiences of women parshads (municipal councillors) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, it suggests a series of interventions that correspond to particular needs and opportunities at different stages of their term. Theories of social change and the literature on adult pedagogy further inform the design of effective learning opportunities.

A Future Orientation to Agrarian Livelihoods

This paper argues that a future orientation to livelihoods research is needed which pays explicit attention to the trends and dynamics of household livelihoods. An analytical framework is presented that consider: dispositions of different groups, the influence of sociocultural environments, the different role of actors in reinforcing or transforming sociocultural environments, and the broader structural conditions including exclusion and terms of incorporation. This framework is applied to the analysis of different groupings of farmers in two villages in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh to highlight processes that result in upward and downward mobility for different social groups. The paper concludes that a future orientation to livelihoods research provides a more nuanced picture as compared to economic calculations of farm viability and the ability and willingness of different household groupings to invest in agriculture. Second, by employing this approach, the identification of groups that will suffer chronic poverty, or alternatively, those at the risk of downward mobility is enhanced. Finally, a future orientation to livelihoods helps to identify institutional and structural conditions that adversely shape livelihoods, and therefore where priority investments could be made.

Voluntary Sector: Complementing or Replicating the State?

The 2007 National Policy on the Voluntary Sector aims at creating an enabling environment for voluntary organisations and facilitating their partnership with the government. But it suffers from a major lacuna in that it fails to comprehensively address the central aspects of autonomy, credibility and the nature of partnership itself. Instead of assisting the voluntary sector to take on roles distinct from and complementary to the state's development agenda, it encourages activities commensurate with state approaches.
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