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Title: Sustainable livelihoods and infrastructure : governing and configuring urban water and sanitation for reduced vulnerability in Cusco, Peru
Author: Crawford, C. A.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis argues that socio-technical systems (STS) mediate between governance and the vulnerability of households. A STS approach enhances the analytical categories of the sustainable livelihoods framework: by conceptualising STS as the groups through which risk is shared, household task, infrastructure and governance to be brought into a single conceptual space. The thesis develops a methodology, based on the sustainable livelihoods framework and the World Health Organisation's water system indicators, that captures the features of STS which help households to buffer vulnerability. These methods are applied to an empirical study of Cusco, Pern and three urban case studies: San Bias, near to the city's main plaza and served by the provincial water company Angostura, a pen-urban settlement with its own water system and Manco Capac, with a dilapidated, independent supply. Livelihoods were vulnerable to seasonal, local and global cycles with San Bias linked to tourism Angostura exposed to annual flooding and Manco Capac constrained by low, seasonal incomes. Diversity and complexity in livelihoods---exposure to different risks at different times---enhanced the ability of people in San Bias and Angostura to mitigate risks, while, in more homogeneous Manco Capac, existing vulnerability was interacting with poor water, sanitation and other services to compound the tasks faced by those with weak household assets. The physical hardware and institutional software of water systems contributed to differences in household vulnerability. Their modes of organisation, categorised as privileging, bypassing, resisting and networking, were dhven both by governance, through policy frameworks and local institutions, and livelihoods, where socio-technical systems react to the perceived hsks and returns of livelihoods and groups of livelihoods. Sustainable livelihoods, which enhance rather than damage livelihoods of others, are undermined by bypass but bolstered where assets are complex and diverse and modes of organisation serve to network users and providers, citizens and government and contaminators and contaminated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available