Urban Livelihoods and the City Economy (Urban Livelihoods and Gender in Freetown Informal Settlement)

Koroma, B. et al.
Publication language
Date published
16 Aug 2018
Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre
Research, reports and studies
Local capacity, Livelihoods, Urban
Sierra Leone

This project is a three years Comic Relief  funded research project which will be carried out by the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre (SLURC). This research study will be done in four informal settlements (Cockle bay, Dwarzack Farm, Moyiba and Portee/Rokupa) across Freetown to address critical knowledge gaps. This research is an attempt to develop a more detailed and comprehensive study of the existing livelihood strategies of women and men living in informal settlement. This will be done with the overall aim to inform policy formulation process that builds on the capabilities, needs and priorities of informal settlement dwellers and assist urban actors and stakeholders to develop appropriate, effective and practical intervention, that strengthen the livelihoods of the informal settlements residents.
This research aims to identify, explore, understand and analyse the multiple and dynamic dimensions of urban livelihoods of informal settlements dwellers in the four selected communities in Freetown.
The specific objectives of the study are to:

  • Provide an overview of the political economy and trends of urban livelihoods in informal settlements.
  • Gain an increased understanding of livelihood systems in informal settlements, their outcomes, and residents’ aspirations. This will involve exploring, understanding, interpreting and constructing a description of people’s lived experiences within the local context of the selected study locations.
  • Gain an increased understanding of the relationship between place and the livelihoods of women and men living in informal settlements.
  • Understand how household livelihood strategies allocate labour and resources between women and men
  • Examine individuals and household adaptive strategies in response to risk, shocks (e.g demolitions, relocations, flooding) that affects household livelihoods and the implications on different members of the households)
  • Recommend strategies aimed at sustaining urban livelihood systems in informal settlements. (Target for recommendations: PSPP members and their livelihoods programs, Local and national government (to highlight spatial dimension of economy activities of residents of informal settlements)

This study also focuses on the links between places and livelihoods, investigating systems and interconnections with other economic activities in the settlements and the rest of the cities (tracking value chains; exploring economic exchanges, including actors and places). It will also analyse livelihoods evolution overtime, including previous experience of adapting to shocks and risks.