Public Infrastructures and Livelihood Strategies: The Case of Rural Households in Kersa District, Jimma Zone
Public infrastructures: roads, agricultural extension services, electricity, ICT, protected water sources, irrigation, formal education centers, and formal health centers are essential for human-being in diversifying their livelihood strategies. The general objective of this study is to examine the possible effect of rural public infrastructures on the rural households’ livelihood strategies. The empirical assessments elsewhere in Ethiopia and the circumstances on the rural livelihood in association with public infrastructures have conferred the paucity of sociological research. This study used the pragmatist research philosophy that advocates ontological and epistemological mixes in an effort to minimize the gaps noted on the empirical knowledge. Accordingly, the research strategy employs the triangulation of quantitative and qualitative approaches. As mirror to the methodological triangulation, the analysis has followed a mixed design that combines descriptive and inferential techniques with the themes emerging through qualitative explorations. Cross-tabulation descriptive statistics and binary and multinomial logistic regression were employed. Consequently, the findings of the research revealed that public infrastructures have a significant influence on livelihood diversification strategies. Specifically, there were significant associations whereby households who have access to assume infrastructures did more likely engage in mixed livelihood diversification strategies than households who don’t have access to respective rural public infrastructures. The findings from qualitative data also emphasize indispensability of given public infrastructures for diversification of livelihood strategies. Thus, by including cultural elements of local people, responsible bodies should increase the required resources for the purpose of upgrading and managing public infrastructures particularly on all-weather roads.
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