Conflict and Wellbeing Deprivation in sub-Saharan Africa

Armed conflict inflicts damage and suffering to people at many levels. Surprisingly, many analyses of this connection fail to take into account that consequences of conflict on human life go far beyond physical harm and that it also deprives people of basic human entitlements. These often include access to adequate shelter, water, sanitation, knowledge and good health. Naturally, there is a need to take a people-centred on armed conflict in order to arrive at a better understanding of its relationship with peoples livelihoods. In assessing this connection, it is also vital to recognise that conflict and deprivations are constantly varying over time and space, and that many dimensions of peoples live are deeply intertwined. With this in mind, we present a quantitative analysis about how changes in actors (formal or informal), the incidence and intensity of conflict and environments of conflict (densely/sparsely populated spaces) are associated with changes in non-physical harm to people. We measure the latter by adopting a comprehensive notion of human deprivation, namely multidimensional poverty. We focus on three African countries: Nigeria, DR Congo and Ethiopia. All of them have been the setting of some of the most active armed conflicts during the last decade. At the same time, they are also home to some of the most deprived and poorest people globally according to several measures of poverty. Combining data from ACLED and two nationally representative household surveys for each country, we present a detailed analysis of the socioeconomic characteristics of households that are being affected by armed conflict and what aspects of their livelihoods are being touched. We discuss the stability of these patterns over time and space, as well as how they relate to changes in the considered structural dimensions of conflict in these countries

Christian Oldiges is a Co-Director of Metrics and Policy at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). He holds a Diploma (M.A. equivalent) and PhD in Economics from Heidelberg University. During his studies and research in Development Economics, he spent several years in India, studying and working at the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, the G.B. Pant Institute of Social Sciences, Allahabad, the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), and the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Delhi.

Prior to joining OPHI as a Research Officer in August 2016, Christian has been working as a Teaching Assistant in Development Economics at Heidelberg University and as a Research Assistant for OPHI since 2011. During his doctoral studies, his research focus was on evaluating welfare impacts of India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and on designing the nutritional deprivation index (NDI). At OPHI, Christian undertakes micro-econometric research on the determinants of multidimensional poverty and is part of OPHI’s outreach team that supports governments in building national MPIs.

Ricardo Nogales C. is a Research Officer at OPHI since May 2018. He holds a BSc. and a MSc. In Economics and a PhD in Econometrics, all from the University of Geneva (Switzerland). Before joining OPHI, he was a Professor of Economics at the School of Economics and Finance of the Universidad Privada Boliviana in Bolivia and a Research Assistant at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in Switzerland. He carried on research activities in the field of development economics, poverty reduction and human development with the IDB, UNDP, ILO, World Bank, Oxfam and IDRC. He has been an external consultant for several public organizations in Bolivia, including the Program for Strategic Research, the Central Bank, the Institute for Agricultural Insurance and the Ministry of Economics and Public Finance.