Development Frontiers in Crime, Livelihoods and Urban Poverty

The development-frontiers in crime, livelihoods and urban poverty (FCLP) is an ambitious research project which seeks to explore the spatial patterns, seasonality and inter-linkages of crime, livelihood and levels of socioeconomic deprivation in urban cities of lower income countries.

With spatially referenced criminological and sociodemographic data obtained from the metropolis of Kaduna (Nigeria) – human geographers, sociologists and statisticians from UCL (Department of Geography) and ABU Zaria (Urban & Regional Planning) in the UK and Nigeria, respectively, have developed a platform for investigating trends for crime victimisation in Kaduna.

By applying mixed method approaches – the overarching goal is to address the paucity of existing reliable data related to the effects of seasonal migration on patterns of work and crime in the city. The methodologies will include an ethnographic approach to the qualitative understanding of urban livelihood strategies in Kaduna. As well as a quantitative approach for mapping broader trends. The resulting work will highlight key development concerns related to sustainable livelihoods, social vulnerability and poverty to build an alternative account of ‘insecurity and crime’ in African cities where the lines between legality and illegality, formality and informality, licit and illicit work, are often blurred in practice.

While FCLP focuses on Kaduna due to data availability, our aim is to extend these interesting research questions to other urban areas in Nigeria, and to urbanised areas of other lower income countries for future studies.