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Chronic Poverty and Development Policy Chronic Poverty Report 2004-5


Chronic Poverty and Development Policy Chronic Poverty Report 2004-5 Presentation at QEH, September 16 2004 David Hulme Director, CPRC; Co-Director, GPRG – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy Chronic Poverty Report 2004-5

Chronic Poverty and Development Policy Chronic
Poverty Report 2004-5
Presentation at QEH, September 16 2004
  • David Hulme
  • Director, CPRC Co-Director, GPRG
  • Professor, IDPM, University of Manchester
  • What is chronic poverty?
  • Global extent and prevalence
  • Why focus on the chronically poor?
  • Who are they?
  • Where are they?
  • Why are people chronically poor?
  • What does this mean for policy?

What is chronic poverty?
  • Distinguished by extended duration the
    chronically poor are those living below a given
    poverty line for a long time
  • Poor for all or much of their lives,
  • Pass on poverty to subsequent generations, and/or
  • Die a preventable, poverty-related death.
  • Chronically poor are commonly multi-dimensionally
    deprived. Combinations of capability deprivation,
    low levels of material assets, and
    socio-political marginality keeps them poor over
    long periods.
  • Relationship between poverty severity and poverty
    chronicity, at both the country and household
    level, is complex and only partly understood.

What is chronic poverty?
Chronic poverty is that poverty that is ever
present and never ceases. It is like the rains of
the grasshopper season that beat you consistently
and for a very long time. You become completely
soaked because you have no way out. Some
poverty passes from one generation to another, as
if the offspring sucks it from the mothers
breast. They in turn pass it on to their
children. - Group of disabled women in
Nkokonjeru Providence Home, Mukono, Uganda
(source Lwanga-Ntale 2003).
Poverty dynamics
Poverty dynamics vs. poverty trends
  • Uganda has experienced significant reduction in
    poverty from 1992 to 1999, aggregate national
    poverty rate fell by about 20. But this
    aggregate poverty trend tells us nothing about
    what happened to individual households.
  • Poverty trends can mask important poverty
  • about 19 of households were poor in both 1992
    and 1999 (the chronically poor),
  • and while almost 30 of households moved out of
    poverty, another 10 moved in (the transitory
  • This more nuanced understanding of poverty
    requires the collection of panel data and life
    histories alongside the standard household

Global extent of chronic poverty
Global extent (size) and prevalence (colour) of
chronic poverty
Deprivation severe stunting, U5MR, female
illiteracy, probability of not surviving until
40, 1/day poverty headcount
Why focus on the chronically poor?
  • The moral case
  • MDGs, and post-MDGs
  • Some MDGs can never be achieved without reaching
    the chronically poor.
  • Other MDGs will be achieved fully or in part by
    excluding the chronically poor. The poverty of
    those left behind post-2015 will likely be even
    more intractable.
  • Grievance-based politics?
  • By denying the poorest those with least to lose
    we risk undermining political and economic
  • Useful for mobilising political commitment and
    funds, but remains unproven

Who are the chronically poor?
  • Discrimination and deprivation
  • Marginalised ethnic, religious, caste groups,
    incl. indigenous, nomadic peoples
  • Migrant, stigmatised, bonded labourers
  • Refugees, IDPs
  • Disabled people
  • People with ill-health, esp. HIV/AIDS
  • To different extents, poor women and girls.
  • Household composition, life-cycle position
  • children
  • older people
  • widows

households headed by older people, disabled
people, children, and, in certain cases, women
Where are the chronically poor? Understanding
spatial poverty traps
Chronic poverty is harshest where spatial and
social deprivation overlap.
Why are people chronically poor?
  • Context matters
  • Causes of chronic poverty sometimes same as
    causes of poverty, only more intense, widespread,
    long-lasting. In other cases, there is a
    qualitative difference between the causes of
    transitory and chronic poverty, requiring
    different policies.
  • Rarely a single cause most chronic poverty due
    to multiple, overlapping, interacting factors
    operating at levels from intra-household to
  • Maintainers factors that keep people in poverty
  • Drivers factors that cause people to slide into
    poverty traps

Why are people chronically poor? The maintainers
and drivers of chronic poverty
  • Quantity and quality of economic growth
  • No, low, and narrowly-based growth situations
    raise the probability of people being trapped in
    poverty. But growth is not almost enough.
  • For the working chronically poor, sectoral
    composition of growth really matters, esp.
    whether it includes broad-based agricultural
    growth and is in sectors with high demand for
    unskilled labour
  • The non-working chronically poor are most
    vulnerable to economic shocks, because of their
    dependance on any benefits from economic growth
    derived from a mix of private and public social
  • Geography and agro-ecology
  • Geography and agro-ecology combine with social,
    economic, political and institutional factors to
    create spatial poverty traps

Why are people chronically poor? The maintainers
and drivers of chronic poverty
  • Social exclusion and adverse incorporation
  • Structures of social exclusion (discrimination,
    stigma, invisibility) are the basis for processes
    of adverse incorporation (declining assets, low
    wages, job insecurity, minimal access to social
    protection, dependency on a patron).
  • Risk and vulnerability shape social relations
    chronically poor people often manage
    vulnerability by developing patron-client ties
    that produce desirable, immediate outcomes by
    trading-off longer term needs and rights.
  • Cultures of poverty?
  • Does how people cope with poverty (economically,
    socially, psychologically) make poverty more
    difficult to escape?
  • High capability deprivation
  • Not investing in PHC, nutrition, primary
    education can diminish opportunities that cant
    be regained in later life (or by children)

Why are people chronically poor? The maintainers
and drivers of chronic poverty
  • Weak and failed/ing states
  • Desperate deprivation and increased inequality
    due to
  • State failure social protection and services
    (e.g. education, health) do not operate
    undermining human capital.
  • Violence, weak rule of law destroys assets and
    discourages domestic/foreign investment (except
    for illegal and extractive activities) so that
    growth is low/ negative and not pro-poor.
  • Low levels of civil and political rights
  • Poor economic policies
  • Weak and failing international system

Why are people chronically poor? The maintainers
and drivers of chronic poverty
  • Severe, widespread and multiple shocks (driver)
  • along with limited access assets
  • and a weak institutional context including
    systems of social protection, basic services,
    conflict prevention and resolution, public
    information (maintainers)
  • combine to undermine resilience to shocks,
    driving people into chronic poverty.
  • Property grabbing No safety net to fall back on
    after a husbands death (driver), and
    discrimination based on gender and marital status
    (maintainer) strips away any assets that could be
    used to bounce back.
  • Malawian famine Bad weather (a shock), bad
    policy (a failure of national and international
    governance), and reduced resilience (due to e.g.
    HIV/AIDS, poverty-induced asset depeletion)
    combined to cause hundreds/thousands, of
    preventable deaths, and has trapped many more
    survivors in intractable poverty.

What can we do about chronic poverty?
  • Much chronic poverty reduction is about good
    poverty reduction
  • Peace-building and conflict prevention
  • HIV/AIDS prevention (especially in India, China
    and the CIS) and greater access to retroviral
    treatment (in Africa)
  • Pro-poor, broad-based economic growth
  • Strengthening national and international
  • Making trade fair (especially removing northern
    agricultural protectionism)
  • Effectively managing national indebtedness
  • Slowing down global warming
  • Improving the effectiveness of basic service
  • but it also requires new priorities

What can we do about chronic poverty?
  • Prioritise livelihood security
  • Increase chronically poor peoples resistance and
    resilience to adverse shocks and trends.
  • Social protection policies are crucial in order
    to interrupt downward trajectories and allow
    opportunities to be pursued (e.g.
    non-contributory pensions, insurance, transfers)
  • Focus on preventing and interrupting childhood
    poverty (e.g. interventions in nutrition/health,
    education, household security)
  • Focus on preventing ill-health, and descents into
    chronic poverty caused by ill-health (e.g.
    curative services for breadwinners and carers)

What can we do about chronic poverty?
  • Enhance opportunity Expand and diversify
    economic opportunities for chronically poor
    people by
  • stimulating broad-based growth (e.g. rural
    raised demand for unskilled labour enhances
    human capital)
  • making markets work for poor people (esp. labour
    and food markets), and
  • redistributing material and human assets (e.g.
    land reform progressive taxation)

What can we do about chronic poverty?
  • Foster empowerment and make rights real
  • Enhance the capacity of those trapped in poverty
    to influence state institutions that affect their
  • Remove the political, legal, social barriers that
    work against them.
  • Move beyond rhetoric of participation,
    decentralisation and rights.
  • Address the difficult political question of how
    social solidarity can be fostered across
    households, communities and nations (e.g.
    monitoring of MDG 8).

What can we do about chronic poverty?
  • National agenda
  • Delivering basic services reduce access
    barriers improve service quality foster demand
    for services among the chronically poor
  • Delivering social assistance that can have
    development as well as relief outcomes requires
    innovations in targeting, technology,
  • Using PRSs to prioritse the chronically poor
  • International agenda
  • Using MDGs to address chronic poverty
  • Financing chronic poverty reduction increase aid
    volume direct aid to poorest countries, social
    assistance and basic services commit to
    sustained aid