Communication for Development: Interventions in urban resettlement to improve livelihood outcomes for poor women

Maartje van Eerd and Alonso Ayala from the Urban Housing, Equity and Social Justice (UHES) thematic area of IHS, in collaboration with IHS alumni Sunitha DonBosco and C. Velayutham from the Media Department of Anna University in Chennai won an action research project in Chennai, India, called ”Communication for Development: Interventions in urban resettlement to improve livelihood outcomes for poor women”.

This project is a continuation of a DAIDA funded participatory film project that the team currently organizes with women from resettlement sites in Chennai, where women are trained to film the impact resettlement has on their lives and the initiatives they undertake to improve their situation. The new project aims, through a participatory process, to develop and implement an ICT device for women in resettlement sites that will:

  •    Raise affected women’s awareness of their rights
  •    Support women in creating business opportunities and reaching clients
  •    Help women connect with their community and provide them with access to support groups
  •    Provide women with information about government services and programs in and around the new resettlement site

In addition to developing and implementing the ICT device, the team will develop a training course on resettlement, gender and communication and develop joint publications.

This two-year project which will start in June 2019 is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India.

The overall research question of the project is:

How can communication interventions using ICT support women in urban poor communities in a resettlement process, to improve livelihood outcomes for themselves and their families?

Sub-questions:

  •    What are the communication needs of women and their families, prior, during and after resettlement?
  •    What is a sustainable ICT intervention?
  •    What is the benefit of the intervention for the livelihoods of women and their families?
The whole resettlement process comprises 3 phases, each with its own information and communication needs:
  1.   Pre-displacement
  2.   Displacement and relocation
  3.   Resettlement
  • In slums that will be resettled a survey (or in-depth interviews) will be conducted covering the following elements:

    a. Needs assessment 

    b. Financial capacity, what type of devices do they have now and what do they spend on phone bills etc, how is the network etc

    c. The rights angle: do they know when and where they are going, how are they informed, do they know where they can go in case of complaints or questions, are they assisted by NGOs, do they know their rights, are they informed about compensation, did someone registers their belongings/assets?

  • This can only be conducted amongst those that have been displaced and resettled, so this component has to be integrated in the post displacement research (what and how did the communicate during the displacement and relocation, what was it they missed in terms of information provision on what was happening during the relocation, and were they able to stay in touch with their community during the relocation, what were the issues?

  • In the resettlement site a survey and in-depth interviews will be conducted covering the following elements:

    a. Needs assessment 

    b. Financial capacity, what type of devices do they have now, how much do they spend on phone bills etc, how is the network etc. 

    c. The rights angle: have they been compensated etc

    d. Livelihoods aspects, setting up a shop/etc, building up social capital

    e. Information provision on the new location, do they know where the shops are, bus schedules, location and accessibility of ration shops, transfer of loans 

Call for Nuffic/IHS alumni working at Universities in India

Students and PhD students from IHS and Anna UniversityOpens external are involved in collecting data, but we would like to expand the data collection to other cities in India and partner with alumni and other Nuffic alumni. Therefore we are looking for interested partners who can join in the data collection on information and communication demands during the 3 displacement and resettlement phases.

Conference at Anna University in Chennai in December 2019

The findings of the students’ research will be presented in a mid-term workshop on the development of communication interventions using ICT for empowering the urban poor in an urban resettlement in Chennai in December 2019. We will also invite ICT experts who will present possible interventions and we will have NGOs who work with ICT for the poor share their experiences.

More information

For more information please contactMaartje van Eerd: vaneerd@ihs.nl