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PublicationInside Informality : The Links between Poverty, Microenterprises, and Living Conditions in Nairobi's Slums(2010) Gulyani, Sumila; Talukdar, DebabrataUsing households rather than enterprises as the analytical unit, this study of 1,755 households in Nairobi's slums reveals that informal household microenterprises are indeed helping offset poverty. Microenterprises are helping households that are, a priori, more likely to be poor. Better microenterprise performance is associated with certain "business-related" factors, such as sales area, time in, and sector of operation. But "living conditions"--residential tenure and infrastructure access--also strongly influence both creation and success of microenterprises. Interventions that improve infrastructure and reduce tenure insecurity and rent-induced pressures to move may be crucial for incubating microenterprises and reinforcing their contribution to poverty alleviation in Nairobi's slums. PublicationThe Living Conditions Diamond: An Analytical and Theoretical Framework for Understanding Slums(2010) Gulyani, Sumila; Bassett, Ellen M.What constitutes a 'slum' is much debated in the urban poverty and affordable housing literature. We argue that a focus on living conditions can help clarify this and present a framework, the living conditions diamond, for detailing living conditions and determining how the settlements we deem 'slums' compare with each other and with nonslum settlements. The diamond distills living conditions into four dimensions: (i) tenure, (ii) infrastructure, (iii) unit quality, and (iv) neighbourhood and location. This framework depicts conditions in graphic terms enabling comparison of conditions within and across cities. The diamond moves us beyond the notion that slums are homogeneously poor in quality, and facilitates analyses that can reveal why they differ. Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya and Dakar, Senegal are compared. PublicationSlum Real Estate: The Low-Quality High-Price Puzzle in Nairobi's Slum Rental Market and Its Implications for Theory and Practice(2008) Gulyani, Sumila; Talukdar, DebabrataThis study of 1,755 households in Nairobi's slums challenges the conventional belief that slums offer low-quality, low-cost shelter to a population that cannot afford better standards. In Nairobi, slums provide low-quality but high-cost shelter. Although slum residents pay millions of dollars in rents annually, and better quality units command higher rents, very little is being re-invested to upgrade quality. To resolve the challenge that the Nairobi puzzle poses for theory and practice, we develop a new analytical framework for understanding quality of living conditions. Improving conditions in Nairobi's slums requires, we argue, two simultaneous interventions: alteration of the tenure mix to enhance owner occupancy and infrastructure investment.