Helping People to Help Themselves: Policy Lessons from a Study of Deprived Urban Neighbourhoods in Southampton

Journal of Social Policy, 2000, 29, 3, 355–373.

19 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

The aim of this paper is draw out some policy lessons from a study of self-help activity amongst 200 households in deprived urban neighbourhoods of Southampton. Commencing with a critique of the popular prejudice that promoting self-help should be opposed in case it leads to a demise of formal welfare provision, the paper then interrogates the empirical evidence to understand and explain the nature and extent of such work in deprived neighbourhoods. Finding that self-help is a crucial component of household coping practices, but that no-earner households are unable to benefit from this work to the same extent as employed households, the paper proposes both bottom-up and top-down solutions to tackle the barriers to participation in self-help amongst unemployed households. In particular, it calls for a modification to Working Families Tax Credit and the creation of Community Enterprise so as to recognise and value much of the self-help activity that currently takes place but remains unrecognised and unvalued.

Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England

JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., Helping People to Help Themselves: Policy Lessons from a Study of Deprived Urban Neighbourhoods in Southampton (2000). Journal of Social Policy, 2000, 29, 3, 355–373., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2707986

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French ( email )

United Kingdom
(0114) 222 4888 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shef.ac.uk/french/staff/jwindebank.html

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