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Archive of posts filed under the Network-based Assessment category.

SNRG invited to contribute to 2013 conference and Open Society Institute educational volume on human trafficking

University of Southern California on Feb 1 and 2 2013
From Prosecution to Empowerment Fighting Trafficking and Promoting the Rights of Migrants
Organized by Rhacel Parrenas and subsequent edited volume titled, Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Migration and Forced Labor.
Conference website:

Human trafficking is a dire problem that thus far has generated shortsighted and lopsided solutions. Not only is there limited research about trafficking – as noted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the information advanced by the U.S. government and media is not usually based on rigorous research– the movement against it has also not developed collaborative relationships with other related struggles in order to deepen and broaden our understanding of this complex problem. Moreover, often government resources and humanitarian aid that go into the war on trafficking are not directed towards the vital empowerment of migrants and the reduction of their vulnerability to trafficking.

From Prosecution to Empowerment aims to contribute to connecting the fight on human trafficking with broader movements to empower migrant laborers. Its aims are to address how the war on trafficking can be a vehicle for promoting the human rights of migrants, how to reduce their vulnerability to abuse, and how to empower them in the process of migration. Mindful that trafficking affects a wide range of workers – including agricultural workers, domestic workers, and garment workers – the scope of the conference extends beyond sex work. Instead, the conference brings attention to a vast array of migrants who are susceptible to trafficking not because of the nature of their occupation but rather because of their limited rights as migrants. They include migrant contract workers who labor under conditions of indenture, guest workers who are denied full citizenship rights, undocumented workers who face the threat of criminal prosecution, and international brides whose legal status depends on their continued marriage to abusive spouses.

Addressing the problem of human trafficking in this conference are legal advocates, community representatives and scholars who have worked directly with vulnerable migrant groups including international brides, domestic workers, farm workers and sex workers – individuals who are most vulnerable to human trafficking.  The main goals of the conference are to situate the war on trafficking in the broader struggle for migrant human rights, to bring civic leaders from different sectors into conversation, and to begin to develop policy recommendations.

This conference is organized, hosted and sponsored by:
USC Center for Feminist Research, USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), and USC Department of Sociology.

with co-sponsorship and funding from:
USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, USC Center for International Studies, and the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.

Submitted to ESRC-DFID Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research

PIs: Anthony Marcus and Chitra Raghavan
Methodologist: Kirk Dombrowski
Partner Organization: Trickle Up India & Trickle Up New York
Nov. 2012
Poverty Alleviation via Social Network Analysis among Ultrapoor Populations in Eastern India
It is increasingly accepted by practitioners and policy makers that specific interventions are required for people living at different levels of poverty, especially those living in the conditions of ultrapoverty, often understood to be among the poorest of the 1.3 billion people who live on less than $1.25 a day. Ultrapoor households tend to be geographically remote, historically excluded and rarely access poverty alleviation programs due to their need to prioritize consumption over investment. Trapped in a state of chronic malnutrition, poor health, and illiteracy, with little or no productive assets, they usually have scant opportunity to engage in long term livelihood planning. For these reasons, this population is marginalized from both government and NGO programs.

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)/Ford Foundation Ultrapoor Graduation program has adapted and tested a model, in eight countries, referred to as the graduation model. Based on careful sequencing of key inputs combining social protection, livelihoods development and microfinance, the graduation model includes identification of the most vulnerable households within a community; provision of time-bound cash transfers to households to meet basic needs; health support; livelihood planning and productive asset transfer; savings to help build resilience; and “just in time” coaching in all areas of livelihood development.

While results to date are positive, only a limited amount is known about how social relations are impacted by and impact the outcomes of the graduation model., These questions are crucial to creating powerful, cost-effective and scalable anti-poverty tools that have the potential to impact significant numbers of the ultra and extreme poor, particularly as the sustainability of impact is largely dependent on the ability of participants to continue to access information and support after program inputs end.

This research will examine graduation programs implemented by Trickle Up in numerous districts in eastern India. We will examine the impact of graduation programs on the social networks, social capital, and socio-economic outcomes of people living in ultrapoverty with the goal of understanding the nature and pathways out of ultrapoverty. Using respondent driven sampling (RDS), participants will be incentivized to recruit members of their personal networks. Using semi-structured ethnographic interviewing participants will discuss two broad network domains: personal (i.e., family planning, domestic violence and household decision making) and livelihood (i.e., food security, market activities, and savings). In each domain, participants will be asked to name the top several individuals to whom they would turn for help, resources, or information, or to whom they would refer someone in need of help and who they have helped in the past. These responses will be used to create social network maps of entire communities which will be analyzed by gender and if relevant, social status. Social network mapping is a cutting edge technique that reveals individual and community priorities in assembling patterns of exchange, help, obligation and reciprocity.

Grant Application submitted to Submitted to AusAID DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH AWARDS SCHEME

PIs: Anthony Marcus and Chitra Raghavan
Methodologist: Kirk Dombrowski
Partner Organization: Trickle Up India & Trickle Up New York
Sept 21, 2012
A Social Network Analysis among Ultra-Poor Women in Eastern India
This research will examine the impact of poverty alleviation graduation programs on the social networks, social capital, and socio-economic outcomes of women living in ultra-poverty with the goal of developing new understandings of the nature of ultra-poverty and pathways out of that poverty. It draws on an assessment of a CGAP/Ford Foundation supported graduation program for the ultra-poor implemented by Trickle Up in northeast India, and implements the social network assessment techniques developed by SNRG for research in Inuit communities in Labrador, Canada. The proposal involves the novel use of validated social network research methods for the purpose of assessment and enhancement of the efficacy, scalability and sustainability of livelihoods programming for women and their households living in ultra-poverty.