Poverty issues in general

There's a lot of information to be found on the internet. A good place to start is the Eldis poverty site which has resources including case studies and weblinks on e.g. child poverty; health, poverty and vulnerability; household poverty; growth and poverty; poverty analysis, and urban poverty.

Other useful material on the Eldis site includes:

Understanding poverty – an overview of definition and measurement issues related to poverty that have emerged in the research field over time. The authors emphasize that for a better understanding of poverty dimensions across socio-economic and cultural settings, the poor themselves need to identify the meanings of poverty.

What is poverty? Concepts and measures. Robert Chambers outlines five clusters of meanings and reminds us of the importance of the analysis and views of poor people themselves and their many meanings. When they get to express their views, we get a case for changing language, concepts and measures in development. The key issue is whose reality counts - theirs or ours? 

Measuring poverty is also the issue in the paper Changing poverty incidence through changing poverty measures? The subject of the paper is the recent revision of the World Bank’s international poverty line. Parsons critically examines the accuracy and usefulness of the Bank’s poverty measures and the claims the Bank makes regarding their role in the fight against poverty.

Participatory wealth ranking is addressed in a paper on how Bangladeshi village elites were engaged in supporting the ultra poor. The authors raise the concern that improved livelihood for the ultra poor might create an increasing dependence on patrons.

The progress of the first Millennium Development Goal, the halving of poverty and hunger, is explored in a critical question: ‘Who will be left behind by the MDGs?’ (PDF). The report states that, although poverty and malnutrition rates are declining, it is less clear who is actually being helped. Are development programs reaching those most in need or are they primarily benefiting those who are easier to reach, leaving the very poorest behind?

A question raised in a book on best practices in poverty reduction is: can good ideas about poverty reduction be transferred from one setting to another and still work? The book (156 pages, PDF format) explains that there are at least five factors that need to be taken into account in the process of identifying and describing the evolution of the best practice.

The World Bank maintains a site on Urban poverty and one of their papers addresses the question on how to make poverty alleviation strategies participatory? The paper describes planning techniques and strategies; principles of supporting a sustainable and effective participation in project preparation and implementation, and linking city actions to National Strategic Poverty Reduction.


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nicolien 2015
Nicolien Wassenaar
Poverty & Income Generation Editor

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