Investigating the dynamics and drivers of transitory poverty escapes

Recent research by ODI using existing panel data sets to examine poverty dynamics in 14 countries revealed a disturbing trend. In countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, a significant proportion of rural households that escaped poverty fell back into it during the following 8 to 10 years. A significant number of non-poor rural households also became poor during the same period.  As a result, the rate of rural households descending into poverty (becoming impoverished) in these countries exceeds the rate of those sustainably escaping it. In all of the cases examined, qualitative life histories conducted by ODI’s Chronic Poverty Advisory Network point to realized risk in the form of shocks and stresses and the inability of poor and near poor households to mitigate, adapt to and recover from them as a key driver of these dynamics.  

To further quantify this and further articulate the role of risk and importance of risk management in relation to poverty reduction goals, CPAN, in partnership with ACDI VOCA, have started implementing the project 'Ensuring Escapes from Poverty are Sustained ' as part of the broader project Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO). The objective of this USAID funded project is to examine the observed variance (at household level and the national level) in impoverishment rates in Uganda, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. CPAN will analyse publically-available existing data-sets and research the issue of transitory escapes in these three countries. As a result, CPAN will produce three country case studies and contribute to the development of a webinar. 

During the first months of implementation of the project, CPAN has produced three reports (Uganda, Bangladesh and Ethiopia) and several multimedia documents and outputs. See below for more information

Project Outputs

Additional Resources

An article by Greg Collins from USAID to introduce the Uganda transitory escape report

Andrew Shepherd, Lucy Scott and Vidya Diwakar presented and discussed CPAN's work in Washington DC on the 1st September 2016 : presentation (slides and audio recording), panel discussion and interviews (videos

For more documents on the meeting, please access the Microlink website here.


Life Histories Infographics


The project "Ensuring Escapes from Poverty are Sustained" is funded by USAID and implemented in partnership with ACDI-VOCA.