Showing posts from October, 2014

Sri Lanka's Serious Levels of Hunger

see my blog on this on CEPA's blogspace

Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience - HDR 2014

The Human Development Report 2014 is entitled Sustaining human progress: Reducing vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, and if nothing else has foregrounded two of the key concepts in the current development discourse i.e. vulnerability and resilience.

The concept of vulnerability
In discussing vulnerability, the HDR aims to move beyond the traditional concept of vulnerability that comes from the disaster risk reduction discourse and  which is about exposure to risk and risk management including insuring against shocks and diversifying assets and incomes,    to what it calls ‘human vulnerability’ which is the prospects of eroding peoples’ capabilities and choices.  This definition can be linked to the idea of peoples’ agency, and also to Sen’s idea of entitlement and serve to broaden the policy debate.  But unfortunately, at the outset itself the HDR then reduces human vulnerability to a categorisation of ‘who’ is vulnerable, ‘what’ they are vulnerable to and why (see figure below).…

Involuntary resettlement: good practice, good intentions, betrayal

The article in today’s Sunday Times on a recent workshop organized by the Law and Society Trust highlights once again the troubling issue of urban evictions. The most telling sentence in this article  reads  This trend of development tactics that marginalise the urban poor, as noted in the discussion is not challenged, due to the lack of interest by many politicians, the lack of awareness of rights by low-income dwellers but more importantly the apathy of the middle class of Colombo as these changes have minimal adverse effects on their livelihoods
 At a subsequent forum on the same issues last week, participants called for stronger involvement of political parties, highlighted the collusion of the World Bank’s Metro Colombo Urban Development Project in the evictions and discussed some good practice examples implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka.  All these ideas are important to take forward, but this blog will focus on the last of these, as it is my guess that neither the supp…