CPAN’s mission is to ensure that chronically poor people are not overlooked by policy-makers. We do this by providing evidence to improve the effectiveness of policies and programmes at reducing chronic and extreme poverty

The Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN) is a network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners across 17 developing countries focused on tackling chronic poverty and getting to zero extreme poverty and deprivation. CPAN is a programme hosted at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London

CPAN’s work investigates poverty dynamics, specifically why people remain trapped in poverty, escape poverty, or fall into poverty over time. This draws attention to three pillars which we argue are imperative in getting to zero poverty: tackling chronic poverty, preventing impoverishment, and sustaining poverty escapes. To undertake our policy-oriented, evidence-based research, we combine analysis of quantitative Panel Data with qualitative Life Histories. Focus Group Discussions, and Key Informant Interviews. This Q-squared approach permits analysis of the magnitude of different poverty trajectories and correlates of its drivers through the quantitative data, along with deep tracing of processes and pathways through the qualitative data to understand how people escape poverty and remain out of poverty over time, or fall into poverty, or remain trapped in chronic poverty.

Panel Data, or household surveys, help investigating the extent of different poverty trajectories; how many people escape poverty, how many remain trapped in it and how many fall into poverty. Life Histories are in-depth interviews which explore the key events and moments during an individual’s life that contribute to improve their situation, getting worse or stagnating. While panel data provides important information on the proportions of people on different poverty trajectories, qualitative data is needed to explore further why some households are successfully improving their situation while others are not. For more information on CPAN work, have a look at the ‘What we do’ page.

CPAN emerged from the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), which worked to assess and explain the extent and nature of chronic poverty in developing countries. CPRC was an international partnership of universities, research institutes and NGOs, which ran for 10 years and published the first two international Chronic Poverty Reports.

We are looking to expand our network, in particular to the 30 countries with the largest numbers of poor people - if you or your organisation is interested in joining our network, please contact us.  

Who we are


Andrew Shepherd is the Director of CPAN. Andrew has now led the production of three Chronic Poverty Reports, and recently also contributed strongly to the IFAD 2011 Rural Poverty Report. Previously director of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, he has also worked on several large evaluations of anti-poverty policies and programmes. He has been a director of programmes at ODI and was previously a staff member of Unicef in Sudan as well as a lecturer and senior lecturer at Birmingham University. His major developing country experiences have been in Ghana, India, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Vidya Diwakar is Senior Research Officer at CPAN. She is an econometric and policy analyst whose work focuses predominantly on the role of state fragility and conflict in sustaining poverty traps, and gendered human capital development as a means of long-term poverty reduction. She maintains a geographic interest in the Middle East North Africa region and South Asia.

Stefania Perna off pic.jpg

Stefania Perna is Programme and Communication Manager at CPAN. She has extensively worked in project management for non-governmental and international organisations with a specific focus on democracy, conflict-prevention and capacity building for governments and civil society in Sub-Saharan Africa. Stefania is also expert in Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D).