|Voices of the Poor consists of three books which bring together the experiences of over 60,000 poor women and men. The first book Can Anyone Hear Us? gathers the voices of over 40,000 poor women and men in 50 countries from the World Bank's participatory poverty assessments; the second book, Crying Out for Change draws material from a new 23 country comparative study. The final book, From Many Lands offers regional patterns and country case studies.
"By presenting visions of development as seen by the underdogs of society, Can Anyone Hear Us? helps us understand the real nature of development. The importance of freedom as the central feature of development emerges powerfully from these "internal" views. These unrestrained voices deserve the attention not only of scholars and academics, but also of governments, international institutions, business communities, labor organizations, and civil society across the world. This is a marvelous introduction to development seen from inside."
— Prof. Amartya Sen, Master, Trinity College, Cambridge and Nobel Laureate, Economics
"Can Anyone Hear Us? is a remarkable testimony to the strength, resilience and spirit of the poor. The book communicates in a powerful way, the corruption and often inhumane behavior of institutions that have direct contact with the poor. No one escapes unscathed. Poor people around the world have challenged us to create new partnerships with them; partnerships in which they experience love, respect, listening, caring, honesty, fairness, unity, and helpfulness. In their simple words, poor people have shown us the real meaning of values-based development".
— Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury and Co-Chair of World Faiths Development Dialogue
The richness of this undertaking lies precisely in the cross-cultural perspective it brings to our understanding of poverty. While we have long understood the importance of poor people's participation in their own development, Can Anyone Hear Us? establishes the importance of voice and power in poor people's definitions of poverty. We now need to expand our conceptions of poverty focusing on income expenditure, education, and health to include measures of voice and empowerment. That is the challenge that the Poor make to us".
— Joseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist, World Bank
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