Vulnerability of the Poor and Non-poor Households: A Case Study of Neboda West Grama Niladhari Division of Dodangoda Divisional Secretariat in Sri Lanka
Keywords:Access to credit market, Income variation and diversification, Networks, Poor and Non-poor, Physical assets, Safety nets, Vulnerability
Poverty is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon with many forms and causes. It is normally measured quantitatively by using income criterion. But understanding poverty only in terms of income criterion can misrepresent its nature and underlying causes. It is a much broader and deeper issue of deprivation mainly associated with both quantitative and qualitative aspects. It is essential to place considerable values on both quantitative and qualitative aspects in understanding poverty. Thus, vulnerability is one of the criteria which is used to understand poverty in these two aspects. Vulnerability is a constant companion of material and human deprivation, given the circumstances of the poor and the near-poor or non-poor. It means the probability of being exposed to a number of risks. It is generally accepted that poor people are more vulnerable in various circumstances than non-poor people due to many reasons. Thus, this paper attempts to analyse the nature of vulnerability of the poor and non-poor households and the root causes leading to their level of vulnerability. For this purpose, Neboda West Grama Niladhari Divison of Dodangoda Divisional Secretariat in Sri Lanka was selected for the study. A sample of fifty households was selected for the study by following stratified random sampling technique. Questionnaire and the in-depth interviews were used for data gathering. In order to examine whether there is a significant difference between poor and non-poor households regarding quantitative aspects of vulnerability, mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation and the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used. For analysing qualitative aspects of vulnerability relating to these two groups absolute and percentage values were used. As the findings, this study disclosed that there is a significant difference between poor and non-poor households regarding vulnerability. As its quantitative aspects income and its variability and as the qualitative aspects ownership to physical assets, education, income diversification, links to networks, safety nets and access to credit market significantly vary between these two groups by confirming significant difference of the ability to face adverse shocks.
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