Preventing exclusion, promoting participation: What can be done to help households move from transitory to sustained poverty escapes?

In observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

The United Nation’s theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty this year was “Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms”. At CPAN we read, speak, and breathe this theme. And so, in celebration of the day and in observance of its theme, we have decided to release an infographic around possible policy and programmatic steps which, if taken, could work towards helping end poverty.

As the UN’s theme implies, to end poverty in all its forms, we must promote participation of the poorest on equitable and inclusive terms. Going one step further, we must also continue to ensure this inclusion even after households have escaped poverty. This is because poverty escapes are rarely a linear process. To be sure, some households escape and remain out of poverty. But many others become impoverished, churn around a poverty line, or even escape and then subsequently fall back into poverty once more. For example, when we analysed rounds of the Uganda National Panel Survey, we found that when we focused on households that had escaped poverty between 2005 and 2009, 2 in 5 of these households subsequently fell back into poverty again by 2011.

Part of the problem in sustaining poverty escapes is that the poor are often excluded from certain spheres. For example, income generation activities may not always be available on inclusive terms, further constrained by weak frameworks. In fact, our research on transitory escapes found that programmes and policies are often absent or underdeveloped in certain areas, such as the rural non-farm economy, rural labour market engagement, fair migration, and social assistance and insurance. Our infographic above gives an overview of what can be done in these areas, while an upcoming policy implications piece goes into more details to this end.

Stay tuned for more.

This blogpost was written by Vidya Diwakar

Click here to learn more about our work on poverty dynamics and sustained poverty escapes