Understanding housing preferences of slum dwellers in India: A community-based operations research approach

Killemsetty, Namesh, Johnson, Michael and Patel, Amit (2022) Understanding housing preferences of slum dwellers in India: A community-based operations research approach. European Journal of Operational Research, 298 (2). pp. 699-713. ISSN 03772217

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A significant number of India’s urban population living in slums face large-scale challenges to access adequate housing and essential services. However, the solutions implemented by government agencies have been inadequate as they fail to understand the diversity of challenges and preferences of slum residents. While the traditional prescriptive approaches to study slum communities do not capture the uncertainties that riddle slums, we explore this domain of inquiry alternatively through theories of Community Operational Research (COR) and Community Based Operations Research (CBOR) that develop an understanding of housing problems from slum resident perspectives. In this paper, we study slum communities’ housing priorities by learning how they structure their concerns and identify specific solutions that could enable access to improved housing facilities. This is one of the first studies to apply Strategic Options Development & Analysis (SODA) and Value Focused Thinking (VFT) to engage with slum residents and generate in-depth insights into the lives of slum communities. Our findings from a slum in the Indian state of Odisha highlight the diverse challenges and needs of the community with regard to housing and basic infrastructure facilities from the slum-dwellers’ perspective, a voice often missing in slum policymaking. We believe that our findings could inform policymakers about most valued preferences of slum residents among many possible slum upgrading interventions. The study contributes to the extension of Operations Research tools and methodologies for meaningful engagement of vulnerable communities to develop interventions for improving social welfare

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Community operational research | Problem structuring | OR in societal problem analysis | OR in developing countries | Slums
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Human Factors and Ergonomics
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Planning and Development
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Public Policy
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Development
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 10:07
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 10:07
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2021.06.055
Additional Information: The authors are grateful to three anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions to the original version of this paper. We sincerely thank Mr. Bibhu Sahu and his team from the Youth for Social Development and residents of Raghupatinagar for sharing their knowledge with us.
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/2170


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