Housing, Marginalisation and Mobility in Pakistan: Residential Security as Social Protection

Published on 1 January 2011

Although security of residence is central to the social policy agenda in most developed countries, it has not been a prominent concern is most developing countries in recent years. In countries such as Pakistan, urban planning is skewed in favour of housing for the rich and the middle classes.

In rural areas where traditional forms of social organisation dominate access to land, residential security and housing remain pervasive, yet mostly invisible, correlates of social marginalisation. Access to housing is examined here in the context of government interventions for residential security for the poor in three regions of Pakistan. It is argued that a transformative social protection agenda in Pakistan must include measures for residential security.

This paper presents findings on the links between housing and social marginalisation in rural and urban areas, and on the impact and limitations of past and current interventions. Collective action by socially marginalised people around housing in general, and government interventions in particular, is analysed to compare the relative strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to delivering social protection. Finally, there is an attempt at understanding the politics of social protection at the national and community levels. This synthesis paper draws extensively on more detailed empirical papers on each of the three government schemes for residential security and a fourth review paper which documents recent developments with respect to the scale and scope of social protection policy in Pakistan (see CSP Research Reports 12 and 13).

Report summary: CSP Research Report Summary 04

Related publication: Social Protection in Asia: Research findings and policy lessons

Publication details

published by
Gazdar, H. and Mallah, H.B.
CSP Research Report, issue 4


About this publication

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection

Related content