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Livelihoods of Urban Households in Debremarkos Town: The Role of Social Capital


Peoples' everyday life experiences show that social ties and networks have important implications for their day to day activities and long-term livelihood decisions and outcomes. In cognizant of this fact, recent development theories take this social fabric not only as an asset, but as one of the crucial livelihood assets. This study is conducted in two selected kebeles of Debre Markos Town and mainly assesses the role social capital can play in the livelihoods of urban households. The study is also intended to identify the available dimensions of social capital to the sample urban households and determinant factors of social capital utilization. Mixed methodology is employed in order to achieve the objectives of the study. Household Survey, Life History and Key Informant Interview are the methods applied. Purposive and Simple Random sampling techniques are used to identify samples of the study. Social capital in the study area is manifested in terms of the concentration of memberships and the networks the households have. Apart from these ''structural'' social capital dimensions, the high level of trust existing among the households and reciprocity are manifestations of social capital in the study area. The study reveals that better access to resources; social capital as coping strategy; enhancement of other livelihood assets, emotional support and social security are the main roles of social capital in the livelihoods of the sample urban households. Socio-economic, personal, cultural and religious factors determine social capital in the study area. Maintaining the existing social capital should be pursued through encouraging and supporting the existing local institutions. This would help to preserve the existing social capital and tap its returns

Corporate Author: 
Worku Gebeyehu & Demirew Getachew (Editors); Ethiopian Economic Association. Bahir Dar Chapter
Ethiopia Economics Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

urban households, livelihoods,

Secondary Descriptor: 

Sustainable Livelihoods Framework

Geographic Descriptors: 
Ethiopia (DebreMarkos), Ama?ra kelel
Broad Subject heading: 
Social capital
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2012
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Third Regional Conference of the Amhara Regional State Economic Development
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Conference Place: 
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
Current frequency: 
Thematic area: 
Regional Conference of the Amhara Regional State Economic Development
Chapter conference: 
Conference date: