Article

Slums and informal housing in India: a critical look at official statistics with regard to water and sanitation

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Abstract

The official data on slums and basic urban services are important sources for Indian planners and policy makers. With regard to national and international benchmarks they are consulted in order to identify and target those in need of development schemes. This article takes a closer look at the official definitions and numbers and raises questions about their reliability and their comprehensiveness. By comparing these statistics with findings obtained during fieldwork undertaken between 2011 and 2014 in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad questions emerge concerning the effectiveness in helping the most marginalized sections of society.

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... Cuando se trata de asentamientos informales, todavía confiamos en la agregación de fuentes de datos imperfectas. Las estadísticas a nivel nacional son de calidad variable, a menudo censos antiguos, encuestas demográficas, y agregados a nivel de ciudad que no capturan la naturaleza y el alcance de la privación de los hogares de los barrios informales (Christ et al. 2016 oficiales utilizadas por los gobiernos y las agencias internacionales, en la mayoría de las naciones de ingresos bajos y medianos, lo que lleva a una consecuente subestimación de ONU Hábitat, que estandariza y agrega estos datos a nivel regional y mundial. ...
Book
La falta de datos en las áreas informales de las ciudades es una gran limitación para la gestión de políticas públicas, afectando a todos los ámbitos de la gestión, desde la capacidad de hacer un buen diagnóstico de los problemas en la población más vulnerable, hasta la evaluación de la efectividad de los programas de desarrollo. Esta monografía aborda esta problemática con el objetivo de servir como un manual que ofrezca alternativas de diferentes metodologías de recolección de información en áreas informales a los gestores de políticas públicas. Esto incluye desde las metodologías más tradicionales (encuesta de hogar) a las más innovadoras pasando por fuentes secundarias. La monografía abordará las ventajas e inconvenientes de cada metodología y se proveerán ejemplos de aplicaciones reales en todo el mundo con el objetivo de orientar a los gestores de políticas públicas o investigadores en elegir la mejor metodología aplicada a su contexto especifico, mejorando así sus herramientas de gestión. La primera parte de la monografía discutirá distintas metodologías de levantamiento de información. La segunda parte realizará una valoración del estado de la información en la región (LAC). Por último, se discutirá distintas metodologías de levantamiento de información y se recogerá casos a lo largo de todo el mundo de la aplicación de distintas metodologías.
... The process of notification is often a political decision, where many areas get notified as slums that have relatively adequate infrastructure and housing. Declared slums receive a lot of government funding, and therefore "it is possible that relatively well-off areas might end up being labelled as slums, whereas truly depressed and dilapidated areas may remain neglected for lack of political lobbying" (Christ & Azzam 2016). Analysis of data on location of source of water in the slum and non-slum households reveal that only 39% households in slums had taps within premises as against 90% in the non-slum households (Table 3). ...
Chapter
According to the census of India 2011, around 83% of the households in the slums of Delhi used treated tap water as their primary source of potable water. However, only in half of such slum households, water sources were present within their premises reflecting inadequate accessibility and absolute dependence on unreliable shared sources leading to long waiting hours in the queues in addition to other hardships associated with finding, carrying and storing water. Through an ethnographic research in the slums of Southwest Delhi, the study explores the everyday practices of the urban poor to access water. The research attempts to answer two questions. How is water access established in a context where piped water services provided by the formal municipal network are erratic and unreliable? How do people of different social spaces experience, perceive and cope with various challenges of water services? My research contributes to a clearer understanding that access to a basic amenity like water is not only dependent on the individuals' location in a geographic place but is also contingent on the multiple social and economic identities of a person accessing water. Delhi has "spaces of inequity created by water" and the inequity in water access and consumption are linked to the household's economic status and social hierarchies which interact to produce deeper and complex experiences and add several dimensions to the vulnerabilities through water circulation particularly for those who belong to marginal social locations. The study suggests how diverse social practices with different logics may be in play, producing invisible tensions that can have significant impacts on the state or current policy goals
... Although Hyderabad is located along the river Moosi and also has two large lakes (one in the heart of the city and the other in the outskirts), the poor sanitation systems of the city have made both of the water sources polluted beyond the permissible limit and their water cannot be used for drinking purposes. Loss of available sources of water is a major reason for its poor ranking in WASH performance (Chettri & Bowonder, 2012;Christ, Baier, & Azzam, 2016). ...
Conference Paper
The study estimates the WASH Performance Index for select cities by major background characteristics of the households by using recent rounds of India Human Development Survey data. By using the bivariate, trivariate and decomposition analyses, it has observed that there are significant changes in the trends in WASH Performance (availability and accessibility), but with considerable inequalities between the cities and within cities across the social groups. It has found that Kolkata, Delhi, and Hyderabad showed high inequality and poor WASH performance in both years. But, even among the better performing cities, there are huge intra-city disparities in WASH performance. To achieve SDGs by 2030, the ongoing Clean India Mission (Swachh Bharat Mission) need to take note of these varying problems across the cities to design targeted interventions, to act on socioeconomic disparities in availability and accessibility in WASH in its ever-increasing major cities which accommodate the bulk of the population.
... First, slum-household indicators do not reflect the social, environmental, and ecological Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 982 7 of 26 factors of deprived areas. Second, this approach could exclude small deprived areas within a larger nondeprived areas [79] or small remote settlements [70]. In general, the size of deprived areas can be rather small [70]. ...
Article
Urbanization in the global South has been accompanied by the proliferation of vast informal and marginalized urban areas that lack access to essential services and infrastructure. UN-Habitat estimates that close to a billion people currently live in these deprived and informal urban settlements, generally grouped under the term of urban slums. Two major knowledge gaps undermine the efforts to monitor progress towards the corresponding sustainable development goal (i.e., SDG 11-Sustainable Cities and Communities). First, the data available for cities worldwide is patchy and insufficient to differentiate between the diversity of urban areas with respect to their access to essential services and their specific infrastructure needs. Second, existing approaches used to map deprived areas (i.e., aggregated household data, Earth observation (EO), and community-driven data collection) are mostly siloed, and, individually, they often lack transferability and scalability and fail to include the opinions of different interest groups. In particular, EO-based-deprived area mapping approaches are mostly top-down, with very little attention given to ground information and interaction with urban communities and stakeholders. Existing top-down methods should be complemented with bottom-up approaches to produce routinely updated, accurate, and timely deprived area maps. In this review, we first assess the strengths and limitations of existing deprived area mapping methods. We then propose an Integrated Deprived Area Mapping System (IDeAMapS) framework that leverages the strengths of EO-and community-based approaches. The proposed framework offers a way forward to map deprived areas globally, routinely, and with maximum accuracy to support SDG 11 monitoring and the needs of different interest groups.
... First, the indicators of a "slum household" do not reflect the social, environmental, and ecological factors that define deprived urban areas (Lilford et al., 2019). Second, this approach could exclude small pockets of deprived areas within a larger nondeprived area (Christ et al., 2016). A typical "slum area" is 1.6 hectares (less than two football fields) (Friesen et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Ninety percent of the people added to the planet over the next 30 years will live in African and Asian cities, and a large portion of these populations will reside in deprived neighborhoods defined by slum conditions, informal settlement, or inadequate housing. The four current approaches to neighborhood deprivation mapping are largely silo-ed, and each fall short of producing accurate, timely, comparable maps that reflect local contexts. The first approach, classifying “slum households” in census and survey data and aggregating to administrative areas, reflects household-level rather than neighborhood-level deprivation. The second approach, field-based mapping, can produce the most accurate and context-relevant maps for a given neighborhood, however it requires substantial resources, preventing up-scaling. The third and fourth approaches, human interpretation and machine classification of satellite, aerial, or drone imagery, both overemphasize informal settlements, and fail to represent key social characteristics of deprived areas such as lack of tenure, exposure to pollution, and lack of basic public services. The latter, machine classification of imagery, can be automated and extended to incorporate new and multiple sources of data. This diverse collection of authors represent experts from these four approaches to neighborhood deprivation mapping. We summarize common areas of understanding, and present a set of requirements to produce maps of deprived urban areas that can be used by local-to-international stakeholders for advocacy, planning, and decision-making.
... First, the indicators of a "slum household" do not reflect the social, environmental, and ecological factors that define deprived urban areas (Lilford et al., 2019). Second, this approach could exclude small pockets of deprived areas within a larger nondeprived area (Christ et al., 2016). A typical "slum area" is 1.6 hectares (less than two football fields) (Friesen et al., 2018). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ninety percent of the people added to the planet over the next 30 years will live in African and Asian cities, and a large portion of these populations will reside in deprived neighborhoods defined by slum conditions, informal settlement, or inadequate housing. The four current approaches to neighborhood deprivation mapping are largely silo-ed, and each fall short of producing accurate, timely, comparable maps that reflect local contexts. The first approach, classifying “slum households” in census and survey data and aggregating to administrative areas, reflects household-level rather than neighborhood-level deprivation. The second approach, field-based mapping, can produce the most accurate and context-relevant maps for a given neighborhood, however it requires substantial resources, preventing up-scaling. The third and fourth approaches, human interpretation and machine classification of satellite, aerial, or drone imagery, both overemphasize informal settlements, and fail to represent key social characteristics of deprived areas such as lack of tenure, exposure to pollution, and lack of basic public services. The latter, machine classification of imagery, can be automated and extended to incorporate new and multiple sources of data. This diverse collection of authors represent experts from these four approaches to neighborhood deprivation mapping. We summarize common areas of understanding, and present a set of requirements to produce maps of deprived urban areas that can be used by local-to-international stakeholders for advocacy, planning, and decision-making.
... Although Hyderabad is located along the river Moosi and also has two large lakes (one in the heart of the city and the other in the outskirts), the poor sanitation systems of the city have made both of the water sources polluted beyond the permissible limit and their water cannot be used for drinking purposes. Loss of available sources of water is a major reason for its poor ranking in WASH performance (Chettri & Bowonder, 2012;Christ, Baier, & Azzam, 2016). ...
Article
We examined the availability and accessibility of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and the overall ‘WASH’ performance in terms of levels, trends and inequality across the six cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Hyderabad) of India using data from two rounds of the India Human Development Survey conducted during 2004-05 and 2011-12. Findings summarise that accessibility and overall WASH performance during 2011-12 were better than 2004–05. The change was not significant across cities in terms of WASH availability during the survey years. The availability of WASH was poor, but accessibility was better in Mumbai. Chennai reported a reverse trend, where availability was better, but accessibility was poor. The overall level of WASH became significantly better in Mumbai during 2011-12 compared to 2004-05, but changes were minor in other cities. The cities with poor WASH performance (Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Chennai) exhibited more inequality compared to better performing cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi). The intra-city inequality is attributable to housing conditions, economic status, educational level, socio-religious affiliation, and occupational status. The efficiency with equity in WASH performance – both between and within cities should be the prioritised issue for urban policies to make cities more socially inclusive and sustainable.
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The study assesses the quality of basic facilities in slums of greater Mumbai encompassing Mumbai city and Mumbai suburbs.There are very few studies that incorporated representative samples of slums, analysed data by type of slums and applied quantitative and qualitative insights on basic conditions of living, in the largest metro city in India. Though quality of piped drinking water tested at source is found to be good, urgent need is to improve the number and quality of public toilets and waste disposal facilities.
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