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Title: The self-help initiatives of the poor : the road to sustainable poverty reduction in Egypt?
Author: Ibrahim, Solava Samir Saad Mohamed
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
This dissertation explores the self-help initiatives of the poor in Egypt and articulates their perceptions of well-being. It argues that an increased role of the poor in the alleviation of their own poverty can render poverty reduction strategies more sustainable. Using Egypt as a case study, the dissertation compares the poor’s perceptions of well-being in two Egyptian sites (a rural village and an urban slum); and compares different patterns of self-help initiatives in Egypt: (i) an Islamic model of self-help in a rural village in the Delta; (ii) an anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) women’s self help group and a semi syndicate for quarry workers in rural villages in Upper Egypt; and (iii) different cases of self-help in Manshiet Nasser, a slum area in Cairo. The case studies are drawn on to understand the role of religion and civil society in promoting these initiatives. At the conceptual level, the research adopts the capability approach and combines it with the literatures on collective action, institutions and social capital. It emphasizes the importance of collectivities for the expansion of human capabilities and develops a new integrated analytical framework that captures the interactive relationship between individual capabilities and social structures. Through the example of self-help, the research demonstrates how the poor- by pooling their resources together – are usually able to gain new capabilities that each individual alone would neither have nor be able to achieve, i.e. new ‘collective capabilities’. The research depends on qualitative research methods, such as an open-ended well-being questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and participant observation to articulate the poor’s voices and analyse their self-help initiatives. The research challenges the conventional top-down model of development by encouraging governments, donors and NGOs to build upon these existing initiatives of the poor thus promoting a new bottom-up model whereby the ideas of the poor come first and assistance is provided accordingly.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.604919  DOI: Not available
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