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. 

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.

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. 

Many people find themselves trapped in chronic poverty. Others rise above the poverty line only to tumble back beneath it.

But, why?

CPAN’s approach combines analysis of Panel Data with qualitative Life Histories.
Panel Data, or household surveys, are our main source of data. They 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.  Click here to download a list of available panel datasets
CPAN would like to see greater investment in panel data so that it can have a wider effect on improving policy outcomes.

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.

To see examples of Life Histories, click on the infographics below.