July 01, 2008: The Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09

Publish Date: 
Friday, August 3, 2012


July 2008

Available online PDF [164p.] at: http://www.chronicpoverty.org/pubfiles/CPR2_whole_report.pdf

'…..Over the last five years, in an era of unprecedented global wealth creation, the number of people living in chronic poverty has increased. Between 320 and 443 million people are now trapped in poverty that lasts for many years, often for their entire lifetime. Their children frequently inherit chronic poverty, if they survive infancy. Many chronically poor people die prematurely from easily preventable health problems.

For the chronically poor, poverty is not simply about having a very low income: it is about multidimensional deprivation – hunger, undernutrition, illiteracy, unsafe drinking water, lack of access to basic health services, social discrimination, physical insecurity and political exclusion. Whichever way one frames the problem of chronic poverty – as human suffering, as vulnerability, as a basic needs failure, as the abrogation of human rights, as degraded citizenship – one thing is clear.

Widespread chronic poverty occurs in a world that has the knowledge and resources to eradicate it.

This report argues that tackling chronic poverty is the global priority for our generation. There are robust ethical grounds for arguing that chronically poor people merit the greatest international, national and personal attention and effort. Tackling chronic poverty is vital if our world is to achieve an acceptable level of justice and fairness.

There are also strong pragmatic reasons for doing so. Addressing chronic poverty sooner rather than later will achieve much greater results at a dramatically lower cost. More broadly, reducing chronic poverty provides global public benefits, in terms of political and economic stability and public health…."

"….Priority goes to two policy areas – social protection (Chapter 3) and public services for the hard to reach (Chapter 5) – that can spearhead the assault on chronic poverty. Alongside these are anti-discrimination and gender empowerment (Chapter 5), building individual and collective assets (Chapters 3, 4 and 6) and strategic urbanisation and migration (Chapters 4 and 5). Working together, these policies reduce chronic poverty directly and create and maintain a just social compact that will underpin long-term efforts to eradicate chronic poverty (Chapter 6). Such social compacts ensure a distribution of public goods and services that contributes to justice and fairness…."


PART A – Chronic poverty as a key policy issue

Chapter 1 – Foundations for understanding and challenging chronic poverty

A. Chronic poverty and justice

B. The nature and extent of chronic poverty

What is chronic poverty?

What causes chronic poverty?

Who is chronically poor? Where do they live?

How many chronically poor people are there?

C. Why address chronic poverty?

D: How to address chronic poverty?

Policies against chronic poverty – preventing entries and promoting exits

E. Chronically Deprived Countries and Consistent Improvers

F. Conclusion

Chapter 2 – The policy and political challenge

A. Introduction

B. Where are the chronically poor in PRSs?

C. Policy responses/policy choices in PRSs

D. Political systems and ownership

E. Institutional mainstreaming and participation of the poor

F. Implementation

Obstacles to implementation

G. Conclusion

PART B – Four sets of policies for poverty eradication

Chapter 3 – Addressing insecurity through social protection

A. Introduction

B. The central role of vulnerability

C. The importance of social protection

D. Lessons from existing social protection programmes and policies

Policies, institutions and tools

Identifying and overcoming obstacles to social assistance

The politics of initiating social protection

Poverty discourse, ideology and selection of beneficiaries

Challenging the dependency thesis

Social protection to foster the social compact

E. Country context

Contextualising social protection

How to escape the 'social protection trap' in a Chronically Deprived Country?

F. Conclusion

Chapter 4 – Economic growth and chronic poverty

A. Introduction

B. Poor people and the growth process

C. Disaggregation matters for policy

D. Transformative growth

Developmental States

E. Growth and strategic choices

Making agriculture work for the chronically poor: infrastructure, education, information

Strategic urbanisation and reducing spatial inequalities

F. Social protection as a policy lever for growth in Chronically Deprived Countries

G. Conclusion

Chapter 5 – Transformative social change

A. Introduction

B. Gender equality, social inclusion and increased 'agency': social goals to end chronic poverty

Creating the enabling environment for social movements

Public action against discrimination

Supporting migrants and migration

Policies for a pro-poor demographic transition

Post-primary education

C. Politics

D. Policy contexts

E. Conclusion

Chapter 6 – Ending violent conflict and building a social compact

A. Introduction

B. Violent conflict and impoverishment

Injustice and ending war

C. Redefining the fragile state

Consequences of state fragility for poverty

D. Towards a social compact

How are social compacts built?

E. Financing the social compact

What role should donors play?

F. Conclusion

PART C – Conclusion

Chapter 7 – Eradicating chronic poverty

A. Eradicating chronic poverty

B. Five key poverty traps 1

C. Policy reponses to chronic poverty traps

Social protection and social assistance

Public services for the hard to reach

The building of individual and collective assets

Anti-discrimination and gender empowerment policies

Strategic urbanisation and migration

D. Country context

E. Regaining the promise of poverty reduction


PART D – Annexes

Background Papers :