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Two base projects and three sub-projects (Phase 2, 2010-2012)

The research unit will pursue an integrated research approach that aims at maximizing interaction among the various fields of economics. This integration is to be achieved through two types of projects, namely (i) base projects and (ii) special projects. The base projects aim at the establishment of the theoretical, methodological and empirical foundation of the research that will facilitate the implementation of the special projects. The organizational concept of the base projects is such that one member of the research unit takes the lead while the remaining members will participate. In contrast, the special research projects follow a tandem approach, i.e. combining subject matter expertise with country experience. The special projects will generate a better understanding of the various on-farm and off-farm sources of risk and their effects on the rural households’ vulnerability to poverty.

 

In the second phase (2010-2012) of the Research Unit, following the basic concept of the first phase, data collection will be continued by another two panel waves. In addition, and based on the findings of phase 1, an expansion of the empirical data base will be achieved by including household members who have migrated to urban areas. As shown by the results of phase 1 in emerging market economies members of rural households are highly mobile. Thus rural households in effect are often multi-locational households who have a base in the village while one or more, usually younger household members having migrated to the urban centres for employment. Here an unique opportunity exists to better understand the dynamics of poverty before, during and after crisis situations and thus to derive solid lessons how to reduce vulnerability in developing countries. Hence a four- year panel of some 4400 households in six provinces and an additional survey of some 2500 migrants, primarily in three main urban centres (Bangkok, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) is deemed necessary to achieve this goal.

The expectation is that at the end of the proposed second phase an advanced vulnerability concept will be available that satisfies theoretical requirements and is empirically verified and thus serves as a basis to develop social protection policy concepts for emerging market economies. It is proposed that towards the end of the second phase in 2012, an international conference on vulnerability to poverty will be held in Hannover that can bring together high level scientists and development specialists and where the results of this research are presented to a wider audience.

 

Map of the study area

In this project we study the living conditions of the rural population in three provinces each in Thailand and Vietnam, namely Buriram, Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Phanom as well as Ha Tinh, Thua Thien Hue and Dak Lak. These provinces are marked by hatched areas in the map below.

 

Map Source: Bernd Hardeweg, 2009 based on ESRI World Map.