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close this bookIntra-household Resource Allocation: Issues and Methods for Development Policy and Planning (UNU, 1990, 204 pages)
View the documentForeword
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsBegin
Open this folder and view contentsI. Conceptual frameworks
Open this folder and view contentsII. Methodological approaches to measurement
Open this folder and view contentsIII. Measurement of key variables
View the documentConclusions
View the documentAppendix
View the documentParticipants
View the documentAlso from the United Nations University press


The papers in this volume were prepared for the Workshop on Methods of Measuring Intra-household Resource Allocation, which took place in October 1983. The workshop was funded by the United States Agency for International Development, Bureau of Policy and Program Co-ordination, Office of Policy Development and Program Review, under grant number OTR-0096-GSS-2268-00 as part of a larger project on ways of incorporating a concern for the internal distribution processes of households into the design of economic development interventions.

The focus on project design and programme planning explains the applied nature of many of the papers in this volume. Wherever possible, the authors discuss applications of their topics in the context of the real-world constraints that donor agencies face on both time and funds. The theoretical issues raised in these papers are vital to the development of methods for measuring and monitoring changes within the household.

The first paper in the volume makes the case for including an analysis of intra-household issues in the design of effective, successful development programmes and as a means of avoiding unanticipated negative consequences. The rest of the papers are grouped in three parts. The first provides a set of conceptual frameworks for the study of the internal dynamics of household resource distribution derived from three major disciplines that have been concerned with these questions: economics, anthropology, and psychology. These papers illustrate the complementary perspectives and methods the three disciplines bring to the study of the household. They effectively show how the insights they provide should be integrated in the programme planning process.

The papers in part II present several approaches to collecting the information needed to analyse household dynamics as part of development planning. As a group, they stress the importance of combining qualitative with quantitative methods, and short-term with long-term perspectives.

The papers in part III discuss specific measurement issues related to estimating key variables of particular interest to planners and scholars concerned with intra-household issues. These variables include the definition of the household, how members allocate time, individual food consumption (as an example of an outcome

measure used to assess the need for, and success of, some kinds of welfare-related programmes), and the flexibility of households in adapting to externally induced changes in the economic and social environment.

The Appendix presents in table format one approach to incorporating intra-household issues into the design and evaluation of development programmer.