Spatial factors

Social exclusion


This publication aims to introduce some of the best literature on the definitions, understandings, causes, and impact of social exclusion, as well as how exclusion can be measured and addressed by governments, civil society actors and international organisations. The guide was written by Seema Khan (GSDRC), in close collaboration with Professor Frances Stewart (Centre for ...» more

What works for rural development in fragile states? Evidence from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Nepal and Bolivia

Schultze-Kraft, M., Rew, M., Kuss, M.

What works for rural development in fragile states and how can rural development contribute to mitigating fragility? This report highlights the major challenges rural development encounters in fragile settings. It looks at empirical evidence from five countries in South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America (Afghanistan, Nepal, Yemen, the Democratic ...» more

Strengthening social justice to address intersecting inequalities

Veronica Paz Arauco, Haris Gazdar, Paula Hevia-Pacheco, Naila Kabeer, Amanda Lenhardt, Syeda Quratulain Masood, Haider Naqvi, Nandini Nayak, Andrew Norton, Nidhi Sadana Sabharwal, Elisa Scalise, Andrew Shepherd, Deepak Thapa, Sukhadeo Thorat, D. Hien Tran

This report addresses the significance of deep identity based forms of exclusion, which constrain the life chances of affected social groups. It explores policies and programmes that address these intersecting inequalities in a group of countries that have made significant efforts and improvements, as a way of indicating what is possible in this difficult terrain. The report ...» more

Urban Poverty in Asia

Om Prakash Mathur

This paper looks at the income and non-income dimensions of poverty in the two main regions of Asia, including a brief account of who and what class of people are affected most by poverty and deprivation. It analyses the effect of recent urbanisation and gross domestic product (GDP) growth trends—which distinguish Asia from other regions—on poverty. It does this using two sets ...» more

Politics, informality and clientelism – exploring a pro-poor urban politics

Diana Mitlin

This paper explores what has been learnt about how to instigate, negotiate or otherwise secure pro-poor government in towns and cities of the global South. With competition for scarce resources, the processes of urban development, and specifically the acquisition of land and basic services, are intensely political. While the nature of urban poverty differs, there is a ...» more

Rethinking spatial inequalities in development: The primacy of politics and power relations

Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai

This paper offers a political explanation to the problem of spatial inequality in developing countries, paying particular attention to the implications of patronage politics and inter-elite power relations for the spatial distribution of public goods. It argues that prospects for overcoming spatial inequalities in the clientelist-driven political environments of developing ...» more

Sanctuary in the city? Urban displacement and vulnerability

Simone Haysom

Little is known about how displaced people negotiate the urban environment, their relationships with host communities and governance institutions and their specific vulnerabilities as compared with other urban residents. This report collates the main findings of a two-year research project, which involved seven in-depth case studies – Nairobi, Kenya; Yei, South Sudan; Damascus, ...» more

Cities and children: The challenge of urbanisation in Tanzania

Cities are becoming home to a growing proportion of Africa’s children. In Tanzania, already one in four lives in an urban centre – and many more will in coming years.  This study aims to provide policymakers and others with an understanding of the impact of current urbanisation trends on Tanzania’s urban poor, especially children. It suggests that cities provide an opportunity ...» more

Meeting the Urban Challenge: Adapting Humanitarian Efforts to an Urban World

Ben Ramalingam, Paul Knox Clarke

This document provides an overview of current thinking and emerging good practice related to humani¬tarian action in an urban environment. It is based on the discussions held at the 27th Meeting of the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) and on a review of recent literature on humanitarian responses to urban crises. It ...» more

Policy Responses to the Spatial Dimensions of Poverty

Kate Higgins, Kate Bird, Dan Harris

How should public policy address the spatial dimensions of poverty? This paper reviews policy documents and eight country cases to identify how the spatial dimensions of poverty are reflected in development policies. Lessons include the need to: 1) balance universalism and targeting; 2) manage the form and processes of integration in the economy; 3) use both short-term and ...» more

Divided Cities: Urban Informality, Exclusion and Violence

Dirk Kruijt

What are the consequences of the developing world’s rapid urbanisation and how can these impacts be addressed? This book chapter published by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs reviews the expected trends in the rapid growth of cities in the developing world, revealing the emerging political importance of urban poverty. Focusing on informalisation, social exclusion, and ...» more

Slum Wars of the 21st Century: The New Geography of Conflict in Central America

Dennis Rodgers

What impact has spatial context had on the nature of conflict in Central America? What is the nature of present day urban violence? This paper from the Crisis States Research Centre draws on the example of Nicaragua to examine changes in the geography of conflict in Central America. It argues that present-day urban violence in the region can be seen as a continuation of past, ...» more

Spatial inequality and Development: An Overview of UNU-WIDER Project

Ravi Kanbur, Anthony J. Venables

How large are geographical economic disparities (spatial inequality) in developing countries and what explains the level and trends in spatial inequality? This paper from the World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) synthesises research showing that spatial inequalities are high, with disparities between rural and urban areas. Disparities are also ...» more

Poor Urban Services, Poor Delivery – Can the Poor Help?

O Wakelin

Small enterprises can be effective in delivering infrastructure services where larger government-run organisations find provision uneconomical or logistically difficult. This article from Small Enterprise Development argues that municipal governments benefit from opening up urban service provision to small providers that may be more responsive to the poor. It examines lessons ...» more

Decentralised Governance for Development: A Combined Practice Note on Decentralisation, Local Governance and Urban/Rural Development

United Nations Development Programme

Can decentralised governance for development (DGD) improve people’s welfare and enhance human development? How can external actors, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), contribute to the effective planning, implementation and management of decentralised government? This Combined Practice Note from UNDP draws on extensive experience from the last decade to ...» more

Urbanization Trends and Forces Shaping Slums


Why do cities take certain forms and the poor congregate in particular locations? How do macro or external forces act on the cities responsible for slum formation? Written for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, this paper examines urbanisation trends and the forces that shape slums. It is argued the internal spatial organisation of cities can be seen as ...» more

Universal(ly Bad) Service: Providing Infrastructure Services to Rural and Poor Urban Consumers

G R G Clarke, S J Wallsten

Utility services (telecommunications, power, water and gas) throughout the world were traditionally provided by large, usually state-owned, monopolies. However, encouraged by technological change, regulatory innovation and pressure from international organisations, many developing countries are privatising state-owned companies and introducing competition. Some observers ...» more

Mapping Social Exclusion/ Inclusion in Developing Countries: Social Dynamics of Sao Paulo in the 1990s

G Camara, A Miguel Monteiro

How can spatial analysis of socio-economic indicators mapped over geographical areas enhance understanding of social exclusion patterns in developing world cities? This draft paper from the National Institute for Space Research, Brazil reviews previous social indicator mapping projects in Sao Paolo and presents methodologies for mapping social exclusion in urban areas. It ...» more