Volume 4, Issue 2 (7-2017)                   Jsaeh 2017, 4(2): 19-36 | Back to browse issues page

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sharifi Z, nooripour M, sharifzadeh M. Analysis of rural households' vulnerability in The Central District of Dena County: the application of the sustainable livelihoods framework. Jsaeh. 2017; 4 (2) :19-36
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2714-en.html
1- phd in agriculture development
2- Associate Prof. of Agricultural and Rural Development , mnooripoor@yu.ac.ir
3- Assistant Prof. of Agricultural Promotion and Education
Abstract:   (1480 Views)
Sustainable livelihoods approach as one of the new sustainable rural development approaches is one way of thinking and attempting to achieve development which arose in the late 1980s with the aim of progress and poverty alleviation in rural communities (Sojasi Ghidari et al.,2016).
Five critical concepts to understand sustainable livelihoods framework include the concept of vulnerability, livelihood assets, transforming structures and processes, livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes (Motiee Langroodi et al,2012). According to the sustainable livelihoods framework, vulnerability is one of the fundamental concepts based on the vulnerability context (Forouzani et al.,2017). The vulnerability context forms the people's external environment. It comprises shocks (such as human, livestock or crop health shocks; natural hazards, like floods or earthquakes; economic shocks; conflicts in form of national or international wars) trends (such as demographic trends; resource trends; trends in governance), and seasonality (such as seasonality of prices, products or employment opportunities) and represents the part of the framework that is outside stakeholder’s control (Kollmair and Gamper,   .(2002
Various research explored the factors influencing vulnerability and its dimensions and less research investigated to assess the vulnerability of rural households. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate rural households' vulnerability in the Central District of Dena County. Accordingly, this research is to answer the following questions:
  • What is the status of rural households' vulnerability to shocks?
  • What is the status of rural households' vulnerability to trends?
  • What is the status of rural households' vulnerability to seasonality?
The research method is applied in terms of purpose and non-experimental survey in terms of data collection. The statistical population of the study consisted of 2500 rural households in the Central District of Dena County, which according to Krejcie and Morgan table 300 households were selected using cluster random sampling.
The research tool for data collection was a structured and research-made questionnaire. Face validity was used in order to determine the validity of the questionnaire and the face validity of the research tool was confirmed by a panel of experts. A pre-test study was carried out in order to determine the reliability of the various sections of the questionnaire, Cronbach's alpha was calculated and reliability of the questionnaire was confirmed.
Vulnerability was measured using 20 questions and in three sections including shocks (8 items), trends (6 items) and seasonality (6 items) with a three-point Likert scale (low, medium and high) and SPSS software was used to analyze data.
The results of calculated vulnerability showed that the rural households had the most vulnerability to shocks including "causing damage to crops due to frost", "causing damage to crops due to drought" and "plant pests and diseases". In contrast, rural households had the lowest vulnerability to shocks including "family fights and ethnic conflict", "animal disease" and "illness of family members".
The respondents had the most vulnerability to the trends including "the rise in food prices and other life necessities" and "the rise in the price of energy carriers such as diesel, gasoline, etc.". In contrast, the respondents had the least vulnerability in trends including "gradual air pollution" and "increase in households' population".
The respondents had the most vulnerability to the seasonality including "lack of funds and capital in low working seasons" and "fluctuations in the prices of agricultural products". In contrast, the respondents had the least vulnerability to seasonality including "the impossibility of growing crops in different seasons" and "decrease and increase in the amount of agricultural production in different seasons".
The results showed that generally respondents’ vulnerability to shocks, trends and seasonality and the total vulnerability was at a medium level for the majority of the respondents (over 40%), at a high level for about 25 percent of the respondents, at a very high level for about 15 percent of the respondents and at a very low level for only about 10 percent of the respondents. Therefore, it could be concluded that more than half of the respondents' vulnerabilities was at a low and medium level.
Furthermore, in two groups with low and medium vulnerability, the average vulnerability to shocks, trends and seasonality are almost the same, whereas in two groups with high and very high vulnerability, the most vulnerability referred to seasonality, trends and shocks, respectively.
According to the research findings, the following suggestions are offered in order to reduce the vulnerability of rural households.
In order to reduce the vulnerability of rural households to shocks including "causing damage to crops due to frost", "causing damage to crops due to drought" and "plant pests and diseases", it is suggested that educational courses are held by the relevant organizations such as Agriculture Jihad in order to get familiar with ways to deal with damages caused by frost, drought and plant pests and disease. In addition, the use of heating system before the frost, the use of drought resistant varieties, the use of such techniques as land fallowing in order to reduce the need for water, the use of integrated pests management are offered as well in order to reduce the vulnerability of rural households.
Considering that the respondents had the most vulnerability to the trends including "the rise in food prices and other life necessities" and "the rise in the price of energy carriers such as diesel, gasoline, etc.", the rise in food prices as well as energy carriers in rural areas should be cautiously.
Founding loan fund in order to give loan and credit to households in low working seasons as well as determining a guaranteed price for agricultural products by the relevant authorities to reduce the volatility of agricultural prices are recommended.
Full-Text [PDF 856 kb]   (577 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2017/09/13 | Accepted: 2017/09/13 | Published: 2017/09/13

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