This report presents the major findings of a qualitative study carried out in four selected areas of Ethiopia. The purpose of the study was to understand the factors in and processes related to sustained escape from poverty. It also aimed to establish the major political, economic and social contextual factors and changes that shape the pathways of different social groups.
The study uncovered the factors leading households to move out of or into poverty. Positive shocks have helped some families break the cycle of poverty. Many households reported that they had moved out of poverty mainly because of remittances gained from a migrant family member.
This study suggests that, while improving the availability of modern inputs and credit facilities would help some households move out of poverty, it appears that it is timely to design policies that go beyond agriculture. Policies are required to address increased urbanisation, with the employment of young people in urban areas a necessary way to offset the burden on the agriculture sector. Policies and programmes that address the chronically poor and the transitory poor and prioritise moving out of poverty are required. Some households need social protection; others need access to productive resources, job opportunities and support to enhance their productivity. Such interventions need not be just at community level, but can also focus on the household and individual levels.
This report is part of the ESRC funded study Understanding and supporting sustained pathways out of extreme poverty and deprivation.