Impact of sector-based upgrading on home-based enterprises: A case study of Chaisa

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Mpembamoto, Kelvin Matete
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University of Zambia
While upgrading approaches have evolved over the years, and often include a focus on improving the livelihoods of people living in informal settlements, there remains little attention or understanding in the literature of how upgrading can influence the livelihoods of residents in informal settlements. This study examines the extent to which upgrading can contribute to improvement in economic activities, looking specifically at the case of Chaisa, a settlement in Zambia where various upgrading projects were conducted in recent years. It investigates the extent to which this upgrading has contributed to the establishment and expansion of Home-Based Enterprises (HBEs) such as shops, kiosks, salons and barbershops, as well as its impact on room renting and on livelihoods generally, and discusses the dynamics underlying these improvements. The study, a two-stage process, made use of a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The first stage consisted of 50 in-depth qualitative interviews with key informants to explore and identify key factors influencing change in HBE activity while the second stage, a survey, involved the administration of 150 questionnaires to Chaisa households with the aim of establishing the prevalence of these factors across the wider population of Chaisa. The findings of the study have revealed that sector-based upgrading impacts HBEs in a variety of ways. Firstly, it has been revealed that this type of upgrading leads to the establishment and growth of HBEs as indicated by 66 percent of HBE operators interviewed, whose establishment of HBEs was as a result of the tarred roads that made road side trading a viable business due to increased volume of pedestrian and motor traffic that the new roads generated. Secondly, it provides income to Chaisa households by supporting the development of additional rooms for rental purposes as well as employment opportunities largely to the women who have to combine productive and reproductive roles of engaging in economic activity as well as taking care of the family, which can easily be done from a home. The study proposes that any upgrading intervention should focus on specific intervention activities such as the provision of key infrastructure which does not disrupt but rather enhances people‟s ability to generate additional income and sustain their livelihood strategies.
Master of Science in Spatial Planning
Economic development--Developing countries , Industrial policy