This book provides an overview of the conditions facing the urban poor in Khartoum, Sudan, and explores the opportunities and constraints people of different genders, ages, wealth and social origins face in the pursuance of their livelihoods. Using the sustainable livelihoods approach, the study demonstrates that the livelihoods of poor people have been severely constrained by both formal and informal institutions that have not allowed them to access capitals and to choose the way they utilize those they have. Four neighbourhoods in Khartoum were selected to monitor the diversity and dynamics of livelihood activities. The study explored the full continuum of well-being levels in 70 households in each of these communities, distinguishing four categories: always poor, sometimes poor, medium poor, non-poor. It further analyses the historical pathways of 40 households to understand how they navigated their way through various institutional environments, highlighting major shocks and crises and the way people have coped with them. The results indicate that there are strong linkages between poverty and household composition in terms of gender, ethnicity and age.

Year of publication: 2008
Series: African Studies Collection
Volume: 13

Free online:
Muna A. Abdalla
African Studies Centre
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