Domestic workers

Methods for spatial sampling of urban neighbourhoods by socio-economic status in Indian cities

This brief note lays out an approach to neighbourhood selection and houselisting for large surveys in urban cities. This approach was used for a multiple round household survey in two India cities using quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand the dynamics of paid and unpaid works within households and employers’ perceptions on working conditions of domestic workers.

it is presented as a generalized step-by-step framework that can be used in any city where socio-economic classification of neighbourhoods is needed, it is tailored for cities where household level public data is not easily accessible or where such information excludes sections of the city considered informal/unplanned/peri-urban or irregular. Given this, the approach reflects an emphasis on the need to develop methods for data scarce urban contexts, or those whose urbanization is marked by tensions with formal logics of planning, property and labour. These cities are likely to be in the global south, though aspects of this framework maybe equally useful in the North.

The note is structured as follows. The next section uses the current study in Bangalore and Chennai to remind us of our sampling requirements. The following section lays out an approach to identifying what needs to be done to attain a city-wise profile of neighbourhoods to meet such a requirement. The final section then illustrates an application of the approach to Bangalore, showing neighbourhood identification and categorization.