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Empowering change: The effects of energy provision on individual aspirations in slum communities


  • Parikh, Priti
  • Chaturvedi, Sankalp
  • George, Gerard


This paper discusses the role of energy provision in influencing the social aspirations of people living in slums. We examine factors that influence the shift in aspirations in five slum settlements using data from 500 interviews conducted in serviced and non-serviced slums from the state of Gujarat in India. The non-serviced slums did not have access to basic services namely water, sanitation, energy, roads, solid waste and rainwater management. We find empirical evidence which suggests that when basic infrastructure provisions are met, slum dwellers shift their focus from lower order aspirations to the higher order aspirations like health, education, housing and land ownership. We argue that energy provision enhances productivity and enables slum dwellers to shift their aspirations upwards. Furthermore, we test the effect of work days lost due to illness on the relationship between higher order aspirations and aspirations for energy provision. When provision of energy is low, higher work day loss dampens higher order aspirations. For policy makers, this study highlights the critical link between the infrastructure services preferred by slum dwellers and their social aspirations for growth.

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  • Parikh, Priti & Chaturvedi, Sankalp & George, Gerard, 2012. "Empowering change: The effects of energy provision on individual aspirations in slum communities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 477-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:50:y:2012:i:c:p:477-485
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.07.046

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    2. Zafu Assefa Teferi & Peter Newman, 2018. "Slum Upgrading: Can the 1.5 °C Carbon Reduction Work with SDGs in these Settlements?," Urban Planning, Cogitatio Press, vol. 3(2), pages 52-63.
    3. Jordi Cravioto & Hideaki Ohgaki & Hang Seng Che & ChiaKwang Tan & Satoru Kobayashi & Hla Toe & Bun Long & Eth Oudaya & Nasrudin Abd Rahim & Hooman Farzeneh, 2020. "The Effects of Rural Electrification on Quality of Life: A Southeast Asian Perspective," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(10), pages 1-28, May.
    4. Ahmad, Sohail & Mathai, Manu V. & Parayil, Govindan, 2014. "Household electricity access, availability and human well-being: Evidence from India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 308-315.
    5. Henson, Rosie Mae & Ortigoza, Ana & Martinez-Folgar, Kevin & Baeza, Fernando & Caiaffa, Waleska & Vives Vergara, Alejandra & Diez Roux, Ana V. & Lovasi, Gina, 2020. "Evaluating the health effects of place-based slum upgrading physical environment interventions: A systematic review (2012–2018)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 261(C).
    6. Smitha Rao & Sanjeev Dahal & Sophia Hadingham & Praveen Kumar, 2020. "Dissemination Challenges of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Rural India: Perspectives from the Field," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(6), pages 1-18, March.
    7. Gerard George & Rekha Rao-Nicholson & Christopher Corbishley & Rahul Bansal, 2015. "Institutional entrepreneurship, governance, and poverty: Insights from emergency medical response servicesin India," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 39-65, March.
    8. Aklin, Michaël & Bayer, Patrick & Harish, S.P. & Urpelainen, Johannes, 2015. "Quantifying slum electrification in India and explaining local variation," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 203-212.
    9. Parikh, Priti & Fu, Kun & Parikh, Himanshu & McRobie, Allan & George, Gerard, 2015. "Infrastructure Provision, Gender, and Poverty in Indian Slums," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 468-486.
    10. Anver C. Sadath & Rajesh H. Acharya, 2021. "Access to Modern Energy Services and Human Development in India: Has Government Policies Paid off?," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 11(3), pages 432-442.

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    Energy; Slums; Aspirations;
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