Exploring the use of domestic spaces for home Based income generation ﴾The Case Of WISE Of Addis-Ketema, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia﴿

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Addis Ababauniversity


Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, a bustling metropolis is a small-scale fabric of global mainstreams, 80% living in slums, 51% working in the informal sector. Among the informal sector, home-based enterprise is very crucial in Addis Ababa, where 70% of the people are running business reported the same. Hence, this study was motivated to explore the implication of accommodating home based work in the domestic space, in areas where the population density is high (E.g. Addis-Ketema, Addis Ababa). Therefore, selfemployed women in Addis-Ketema are used as a case study. Methods employed in data collection include field observation, self -administered in-depth interview with households and key-informants, photo registration, measurement and drawing of domestic spaces. Drawing on this data, the paper examines implication of domestic space use for home based work. The study found out that home-based enterprise (HBE) is not spatially confined to the dwelling and scarcity of space does not prevent from accommodating the HBE in the dwelling. Home-based workers use the domestic space starting from the dwelling, to the courtyard and neighborhood street. As a result, HBE operators use different techniques to configure these spaces, starting from a simple (cleaning and changing of function of space) to comprehensive (adjusting partitions, extension and enclosure of veranda, replacing the structure step-bystep, constructing rooms & building temporary movable structures). The study has also revealed that the benefits of accomodating this HBE at the domestic space are: closeness to customers & service (time and money saving), symbiosis in the phenomenon and optimal use of the house, household participation and family supervision, and enhancement of security. However, the challenges are nuisance related (noise, smell, dust and smoke), risks related (Such as health, privacy, and security), and crowding. The study found out HBEs are the primary income source to support the households. Despite the fact that, respondents have different perception regarding the use of domestic space for home based work. The integration of HBE activities into the domestic setting is appreciated: when dwellers have small household number, ample room area or where the activity intensively takes place outside the dwelling (such as, courtyard and adjacent neighborhood streets).As well as, households support the integration of the HBE activity when there is no movement of the working equipment. Surprisingly, households with scarce space and having large household number, still have positive perception due to its being their indispensible income source, enabling them to cover their daily expenses. Nevertheless, respondents have a negative perception towards intgration of the home based income generation activity in the domestic space, where the activity creates health related risk (dust & smoke) and crowdedness. Based on the findings, the study concluded that accommodation of the HBE in the domestic space is an important way through which the low-income households can earn and boost their living. Hence, understanding the configuration and meaning of the domestic space for this purpose is essential. Key Words: Home-based income generation; domestic space configuration, women in self-employment (WISE), Addis-Ketema, Addis Ababa



Home-based income generation; domestic space configuration; women in self-employment (WISE; Addis-Ketema; Addis Ababa