SIID researcher, Dr. Paula Meth, has been awarded a British Academy(BA)/Leverhulme Small Research Grant to conduct research on domestic violence in relation to housing formalisation in India and South Africa

The project, entitled ‘Experiences of Domestic violence within ‘decent’ settlements’: comparative insights’, will examine the intersection of two key trends in cities across the global South: the substantial rise in state-led upgrading of informal housing to produce ‘decent’ settlements, endorsed by the UN through the MDG goal 7d; and the persistence of gendered violence within cities, both domestic and public. Recognising that social changes are tied to spatial, this particular project focuses down on domestic violence in the context of urban upgrading and extends Paula’s previous argument that informal housing shapes domestic violence experiences.

Using a qualitative methodology, the project will explore two case studies of recently upgraded settlements in India and South Africa. The countries are selected because of their influence as urban policy leaders within their own world-regions and their histories and realities of gendered and generic violence, highly distinct, yet equally troubling. Comparison will provide original insights by linking distinct regional literatures and findings. Being small-scale, the project aims to deliver in-depth insights into residents’ experiences and organisations working within such settlements.

Paula will begin fieldwork in the new academic year, travelling to India in September and then on to South Africa in November. She will be conducting interviews with local service providers and facilitating focus groups with residents in each settlement, in order to perform a comparative analysis across the two case studies.

To find out more about the project, contact Paula via her staff page.