Livelihood insecurity among urban households in Ethiopia
MetadataShow full item record
This study is based on a survey of households undertaken in the last quarter of 2001 for ILO as part of the project entitled People's Security Survey (PSS). The main objective of PSS was to try to capture people's perceptions and normative values of "livelihood" security. The PSS consists of a research framework developed by ILO focusing on poverty, labor market experience, and access to social protection policies and institutions of representation. The main instrument employed here was an extensive questionnaire originally administered on a sample of 1609 households from both urban and rural areas. For the purposes of the present work, we have removed the rural households in the sample to give the study a wholly urban focus. The present work is thus based on the findings of the survey of 1202 urban households. The towns in which the survey was undertaken were Addis Ababa, Debre Zeit, Mojo and Nazareth. The findings of the study reveal a population that is fearful and anxious about its basic subsistence, which is dependent on low and insecure income, inadequate social services, a shrinking labor market, and which is faced with gloomy prospects. It was evident that the great majority of households are weighed down by livelihood insecurity, with the threat of iv impoverishment and loss of means for basic sustenance hanging over them as a matter of course. The study reveals a great deal ofpessimism on the part of many: pessimism about one's basic security, about employment opportunities, and the chances for self-improvement. Most households are doubtful if there will be economic growth, or if the problem of poverty will be successfully tackled. Respondents were ashed to give their opinion about government programs to reduce poverty on the one hand, and to promote economic growth on the other. Obviously success in reducing poverty and boosting economic growth will have a positive impact on employment and business activity, and respondents were aware that the two issues are closely linked with their own livelihood. A good majority thought that the government's efforts on both counts were unsuccessful: the figures were 64 percent and 59 percent respectively. Only about 28 percent thought the programs were successful.