Urbanisation is the defining feature of global population distribution. Until at least 2050, city growth will be concentrated in developing countries and most of that growth will come from migration from rural areas. Many poor, rural migrants will end up in the poorest neighbourhoods of these cities.
This research project addresses the first overarching research question in the call specification: the factors which shape pathways into and out of poverty, how people experience these factors and the role of policy in creating sustained routes out of poverty. It is premised on the recognition that well-functioning labour markets are a key institutional channel through which the sustainable reduction of poverty can be achieved. They are also significant from a gender perspective.
Important development programmes such as microfinance often do not reach the very poorest households. A new set of initiatives, called Graduation programmes, have targeted these very poor households. Their objective is to graduate them out of poverty in a sustainable manner and make them resilient so they do not fall back into poverty.
There is an urgent need to find means by which societies can engage in difficult debates about how to ensure food security in a world threatened by dangerous levels of climate change, at the same time as making drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. There will be conflicts, trade-offs but also potential co-benefits between these twin objectives depending very much on the pathways chosen.
Education is central to economic development and recognised as the Second Goal of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Many developing countries, including Bangladesh, which is the focus country of this project, have achieved impressive progress in primary school enrolment; however, there is evidence that the effectiveness of primary education is low in many cases.
This project seeks to understand the gender dynamics of the labour market in the context of Bangladesh. Labour markets are recognised as key institutional routes through which the benefits of growth are distributed across populations. Moreover, empirical research suggests that women’s access to labour market opportunities, particularly those which offer predictable incomes and ‘decent’ working conditions, can strengthen their voice and agency within the family and in the wider community.