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Assessing Urban Vulnerability

Updated: May 17, 2020

A framework to assess urban vulnerability in marginalized communities, in order to shape effective safety-nets

Client: Selco Foundation

Location: Bengaluru

Partner/Collaborators: Selco Foundation

Duration: Nov 2016 - May 2017

Status: Completed

Commissioned by Selco Foundation, the project’s enquiry was to assess how any organisation working with the urban poor can prevent communities from falling into abject poverty, through the implementation of timely interventions (i.e. ‘safety nets’). In order to shape effective safety nets that help poor communities overcome unforeseen shocks and stresses, there was a need to arrive at a clearer understanding and assessment of their vulnerability.

The objectives for the project were as follows:

  • Develop concept for archiving urban vulnerability in India

  • Archive typologies, issues, policies, organization (build potential partnerships), solutions, of and for urban poor communities

  • Coordinate efforts on developing a framework for a live online portal to assess urban vulnerability for any organisation

The framework has been built largely using data from Selco Foundation and has been further proposed to be developed into an online tool which can be used by all organisations working with the urban poor. As a proposition, the tool can offer the following potential:

  • Provide more effective support for (existing) poor communities that can prevent them from falling into abject poverty through - 1) Assessment of vulnerability of poor communities to shocks and stresses putting together multi-sector and multi-scalar data sets/policies etc. at community, city, state, national level. 2) Development of trajectory of poor communities to ascertain time and nature of intervention. This is to aid the development of more effective safety nets and enable better collaborations among local NGOs that support urban poor, governments etc.

  • Prediction of formation of slums, so as to facilitate implementation of pre-emptive measures.



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