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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 it, or fall into it. Although the proportion of people living in poverty has substantially declined over the last 20 years, it has not just been a steady poverty escapes. While some people have moved above the poverty line, others have fallen below it, and some have remained living in persistent (chronic) poverty. Our work helps to identify and understand which policies are effective for poverty reduction - and why. We disseminate our research through our extensive network to support national and international policy makers in creating policies that make successful and sustainable contributions to poverty reduction. 

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.

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 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).


Elliot Rooney is Programme Administrator at CPAN. Elliot previously worked with a diverse range of organisations in the private and NGO sector, including work in health, agriculture and WASH. He has country experience in Uganda and Nigeria, and has most recently completed an MSc in Development Studies at SOAS, University of London.