The Intrahousehold Disadvantages Framework: A Framework for the Analysis of Intra-household Difference and Inequality, CPRC Working Paper No. 32

Abstract

In this paper we present a critical analysis of existing gender frameworks, focusing on their applicability to analysing other dimensions of intra-household difference (not their inherent value per se). This identifies a set of tools and concepts which will help provide an analytical starting point from which to examine these (non-gender) intrahousehold asymmetries. However, we recognise the complexity of this task, and a framework which attempts to examine multiple dimensions of difference risks being resource hungry and producing distorted data and information overload. In an attempt to counter these dangers, we present a two-tier framework that examines the impact of \"clusters of disadvantage\" on intra-household resource allocation and decisionmaking (these \"clusters\" are locally identified, and reflect real individuals within the community who are most likely to be amongst the poorest of the poor).

The second tier of analysis, at the intra-household level, examines in detail two or three households in which a member characterised by a \"cluster of disadvantage\" lives. These case studies will help triangulate community level data; contextualise the individual within the household by identifying the roles and activities of all household members; and examine the dynamic capacities, capabilities and vulnerabilities of those characterised by a \"cluster of disadvantage\" (which may indicate possible interventions to improve their well-being). We suggest that researchers collect several case studies for each \"cluster of disadvantage\" to provide an opportunity to examine both the range of experience of people with specific sets of disadvantage, and the norm.

These tools and concepts are a starting point for the critical analysis of intrahousehold inequality. Substantial innovation may be required depending upon local situations and realities, and ultimately, frameworks and tools are only guides for analysis. In addition, we do not see this framework replacing specialist investigations of gender, impairment or age (for example); such work will often be necessary todeepen understanding prior to policy or programme design. However, the results generated by the Intrahousehold Disadvantages Framework should provide a schematic map showing the implications of disadvantage at the community and intrahousehold level - to which detail can be added. The accuracy of this map will depend on researchers and policy-makers training \"the muscles of perception (hearing and seeing) to be able to focus on marginalised groups and individual differences, and to recognise how one's own limitations influences perception\" (Stubbs, 1995) . If they fail to do so, the practical value of any framework, and its impact on poverty reduction, will be limited.

Citation

The Intrahousehold Disadvantages Framework:A Framework for the Analysis of Intra-householdDifference and Inequality, CPRC Working Paper No. 32, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, ISBN 1-904049-31-1, 64 pp.

The Intrahousehold Disadvantages Framework: A Framework for the Analysis of Intra-household Difference and Inequality, CPRC Working Paper No. 32

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