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Securing LivelihoodsInformal Economy Practices and Institutions$
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Isabelle Hillenkamp, Frédéric Lapeyre, and Andreia Lemaître

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199687015

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687015.001.0001

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An Analysis of the Socio-Economic Logics Underpinning Formal and Informal Strategies for Coping with Economic Hardships in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

An Analysis of the Socio-Economic Logics Underpinning Formal and Informal Strategies for Coping with Economic Hardships in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Chapter:
(p.78) 5 An Analysis of the Socio-Economic Logics Underpinning Formal and Informal Strategies for Coping with Economic Hardships in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Source:
Securing Livelihoods
Author(s):

Maïté le Polain

Nyssens Marthe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687015.003.0005

This chapter aims to analyse the strategies used by vulnerable inhabitants of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to cope with economic hardships. The analysis is based on exploratory qualitative research conducted in June 2011. Economic hardships are understood as financial pressures on the household that result from sudden emergencies or life-cycle events. We first describe commonly reported sources of economic hardships and then risk management and coping strategies. Strategies are grouped into three categories: individual strategies such as self-insurance and income diversification, collective informal, and collective formal strategies. The socio-economic logics underpinning these strategies are then examined through the lenses of the Polanyi framework, which distinguishes between four types of economic integration principles: market, redistribution, reciprocity, and householding. Our research results indicate a plurality of economic logics in strategies used by respondents as well as the predominance of reciprocity and householding principles.

Keywords:   economic hardship, risk management, coping strategy, self-insurance, collective informal strategies, Polanyi, the Democratic Republic of Congo

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