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Nopoor Policy Brief Nr.57: Standards of living in urban slums: How to measure and map its correlates – Evidence from India metro cities

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A phenomenal surge in number of urban slums and its population in many developing countries is identified as a major challenge for the overall urban development. Slums are not only deficient in infrastructure, but the standard of living of the slum-dwellers is also quite appalling. Deprivation is not limited to pecuniary factors; several non-pecuniary aspects also hold them back.
This policy brief, based on the research findings of a survey undertaken in three metro cities of India, puts forward a way to assess slum dwellers‟ standard of living and map the associated correlates. It uses a conventional monetary approach (e.g. per capita income or consumption) as well as a novel non-monetary multi-dimensional counting approach framework to assess standard of living. It is observed that some household-level and slum-level characteristics are indeed similarly associated, yet certain others are quite differently associated with the monetary vis-à-vis the non-monetary standard of living. It is thus proposed to use both approaches simultaneously while making policy decisions as well as evaluating policy outcomes.

Image: © IRD - Olivier Dangles - François Nowicki / Une Autre Terre