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Country Reports

The Moving Out of Poverty study was conducted in 15 countries spanning Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Research teams in each of the countries have completed community and household data collection and have analyzed this data to produce Regional Synthesis Reports. The reports will be posted here as they become available.


Afghanistan National Synthesis Report (1.3mb PDF)
Authors: Philibert de Mercey, Alejandra Val Cubero, and Najibullah Ziar

The Afghanistan study explores the relationship between mobility and conflict from the perspectives of poor Afghans who have endured protracted and varied conflicts well beyond the 1996-2006 period covered by the study. The goal of the study is to understand from the bottom-up the different factors that have helped the six communities in the data set to move out of poverty over the past ten years.


Bangladesh National Synthesis Report (995kb PDF)
Authors: Shahana Rahman, Fatima Jahan Seema, Nishat Sharmin, and Gautam Shuvra Biswas

The Bangladesh study focuses particularly on how and why women’s empowerment gained force in rural areas in the country and whether it made a difference to mobility outcomes. The findings build on a country-wide study on Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) conducted by PROSHIKA in 2001.


Trends in community Well-being and Household Mobility in Nine Cambodian Villages (2.03mb PDF)
Authors: Ingrid FitzGerald and So Sovannarith 

The study set out to examine: which communities or groups move out of poverty and which remain trapped and why; whether people experience mobility differently in different economic conditions; how and why governance and social networks matter in mobility; what factors explain household and community progress and mobility or decline and stagnation; and the interaction between household and community factors, as well as any variations between villages and types of households.

The study was longitudinal, revisiting households that had previously been included in the 2001 study (using a panel survey) and contextual, exploring local history, geography and trends and their impact on communities and households, and it employed mixed methods, including a household panel survey and in-depth focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. The nine villages selected for the original 2001 study represent all four of Cambodia’s main rural agro-ecological regions—the Tonle Sap plains, Mekong plains, plateau/mountain region and the coast. The 890 panel households drawn from the nine study villages represent a significant data set, from which statistically valid claims can be made about aggregate and village trends. The panel survey was supplemented by qualitative data from interviews and focus groups with 477 participants from the nine villages, including formal and informal village leaders, mobility groups (with participants who moved into or out of poverty or whose situation remained static) and young men and women.


Colombia National Synthesis Report (1.04mb PDF)
Authors: María Teresa Matijasevic, Liliana Velázquez, Carolina Villada, Mónica Ramírez

The Colombia case study focuses on how people recover from armed conflict and forced displacement. Fieldwork was conducted in 8 communities; 6 are in urban areas with large internally displaced populations and 2 are rural regions affected by conflict. The study finds that in these contexts, few households were able to move out of poverty. Among the reasons for limited movements out of poverty were the low levels of security in internally displaced camps at the outskirts of cities. Also, since government attention to these camps was inadequate, people relied on social connections for access to economic opportunities and for other support.


Chapter 1 of "Moving Out of Poverty: The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India" (5.7mb PDF)
Authors: Deepa Narayan, Binayak Sen, and Katy Hull 

This study focuses on people who moved out of poverty during the decade from 1995 to 2005 in rural areas of four Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. It also considers people who have fallen into poverty, those who have remained poor, and some who have never been poor but who live alongside poor people in the same communities. We started by setting aside official and expert opinions, ideologies of the right and left, and—to the extent possible—the beliefs and assumptions of the rich and the middle class, including our own preconceived notions. We let poor people speak.


Indonesia Case Study: North Maluku and East Java (3.3mb PDF)
Authors: Sri Kusumastuti Rahayu, Vita Febriany

The Indonesia study focuses on local level conflicts in the provinces of North Maluku and East Java to understand how conflict in different growth contexts affects people’s ability to move out of poverty. Fieldwork was undertaken in 10 communities, selected for their variations in growth rates, extent of conflict (high, low, and non-conflict) and ethnic composition. The findings indicate how and why some people are able to move out of poverty or maintain their wealth in contexts of high conflict and low growth and why others in low conflict, high growth regions have been trapped in poverty.


Malawi National Synthesis Report (743kb PDF)
Authors: Maxton Grant Tsoka, John Kadzandira, Manohar Sharma

The Malawi study explores the role of access to socioeconomic infrastructure - or "growth facilities” - on movements out of poverty. The study builds on five rounds of the Complementary Panel Survey conducted between 2000 and 2004 and covers 15 communities selected to ensure variation in geography and access to infrastructure. Access to infrastructure was defined as a function of the distance to markets and by the presence of permanent or seasonal roads and transportation services. Beyond access to infrastructure, the authors found that the presence of health services, the availability of agricultural inputs, and the accessibility to loans played important roles in upward mobility at both the community and household levels.


Mexico Country Study (618kb PDF)
Authors: Trine Lunde, Vicente Garcia Moreno, Alejandro Ramirez

The Mexico study focuses on the mechanisms of moving out of poverty among the poorest segment of Mexico’s population—indigenous peoples. Twelve communities were selected based on levels of growth and progress across the states of Yucatán and Oaxaca. The study explores the questions: What are the characteristics of economically successful indigenous communities? And, how and why have some of these communities moved out of poverty? The authors find that migration plays a critical role for individual households that are able to move out of poverty and for comparatively successful communities in both states.


Moving Out of Poverty in Morocco (724kb PDF)
Authors: Nora Dudwick, Adesselam Fazouane, Elizabeth Radin, Brice Richard, and Rachna Saxena

The Morocco report examines the social, political and institutional factors that affect the mobility of households in nine communities across Morocco. Based on in-depth group and individual discussions, the data offer important insights into the factors that affect mobility and vulnerability in rural and urban communities in Morocco. In addition, the Morocco report was specifically designed to produce a more nuanced understanding of how differences in regional growth and patterns of migration affect mobility.



Moving Out of Poverty in Bukidnon, Philippines (316kb PDF)
Authors: Chona Echavez, Erlinda Montillo-Burton, Scott McNiven, Agnes Quisumbing

The Philippines-Bukidnon study focuses on the role of credit constraints, migration, and social networks in movements out of poverty in communities where agriculture is the primary livelihood. The 10-community sample was selected from the Bukidnon panel dataset conducted in 1984-85, 1992, and 2003-04. Among the report’s findings, the team found that success in agriculture requires working capital and access to infrastructure, such as farm to market roads. However, the team finds that remaining in agriculture is not sufficient for moving out of poverty and education increases the opportunities for diversifying incomes and moving out of poverty.


Senegal Survey National Synthetic Report (556kb PDF)

The Senegal study examines how various programs and projects within the framework of the Strategic Document for Poverty Reduction (SDPR), which are undertaken to fight against poverty, contributed to the communities or rural household’s strategies to moving out of poverty.

Sri Lanka

Moving Out of Poverty in the Estate Sector in Sri Lanka (498kb PDF)

    Moving Out of Poverty in Conflict-Affected Areas in Sri Lanka (411kb PDF)
    Author: Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA)

    The Sri Lanka Moving Out of Poverty study was conducted in two phases. The first phase explores the dynamics of poverty and mobility in the tea and rubber estate sector and the second looks at the role of conflict on mobility.

    In the first phase, CEPA collected qualitative data from 20 communities in the estate regions to capture diverse poverty levels and estate characteristics. The study was conducted in part to understand rising poverty levels in the estate sector as indicated by the Department of the Census in Sri Lanka.

    The second phase explored how people are able to move out of poverty in two conflict-affected contexts - one between the Government and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) that occurred between 1987 and 1989 and one between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that continues today. These contexts were chosen for this study to maximize possible variance in conflict characteristics, historical origins, and time periods to determine how conflict influences transitions out of poverty.


    Moving Out of Poverty in Tanzania’s Kagera Region (150kb PDF)
    Author: Joachim De Weerdt

    The Tanzania-Kagera Moving Out of Poverty Report study discusses how people living in remote regions in Africa, with little integration in the global economy, can still be provided with the freedom to make life-improving choices. The study draws on longitudinal survey data from 47 rural villages in Kagera (from 1993 and 2004) as well as on more in-depth qualitative information on 8 of the villages. By contrasting those whose welfare improved over the study period to those whose welfare stagnated or dropped, the study concludes that there are two main routes out of poverty in Kagera. For people with sufficient land and other assets, one route is agriculture. Those who diversified their farming activities, such as growing modern crops like green peppers and vanilla, were most likely to succeed. People who did not diversify away from traditional activities, such as growing bananas and coffee were more likely to remain poor. The other main route out of poverty in Kagera is trading and business. The study shows that people's ability to diversify into this kind of work depends largely on their exposure to life outside their village. A sustained good health and an extensive trust network are important capital goods here and — in contrast to entry into farming business — they can compensate for lack of initial capital. The study also shows that poor people in Kagera are extremely vulnerable to shocks, such as illness or the death of a family member. Only the richest can protect themselves against the negative impacts of such shocks.

    Tanzania-Ruvuma Synthesis Report (696kb PDF)
    Authors: Flora Kessey, Oswald Mashindano, Dennis Rweyemamu, Prosper Charle

    The Tanzania-Ruvuma study focuses on the role of governance and access to markets in poverty reduction. The study sample covers 8 communities selected to capture variations in market access and quality of governance drawing from the 1991-92 and 2000-01 datasets of the Tanzania Household Budget Survey. The Ruvuma study tested three hypotheses:
    1) Despite its agricultural and economic potential compared to the rest of Tanzania, the Ruvuma region has not experienced high growth;
    2) Poor access to agricultural markets is a major impediment to poverty reduction; and
    3) Weak governance also constrains poverty reduction.


    Thailand National Synthesis Report (2.1mb PDF)

    The objective of the report is to study the dynamics of change concerning chronic poverty including the local definitions of “poverty”, the importance of the various factors and the linkages between those factors (how/why/when) that may either limit or facilitate the various communities to move out of poverty. The focus of this study is on the following issues:

    • The impact of the growth rate on the resolution of the problem of poverty and the linkages between the various factors in its different dimensions that assist groups of people in moving out of poverty or enables them to move out of chronic poverty.
    • The processes and events that are the major turning points that result in the movement out of poverty.
    • Important factors that facilitate permanent movement out of poverty


    Uganda Moving Out of Poverty National Report (14.8mb PDF)
    Authors: Richard Ssewakiryanga, Frank Muhereza, Akim Okuni, Joseph Robert Bugembe and Charles Nsubuga

    Given that poverty and well-being are multi-dimensional, the study sought to uncover whether the movement out of poverty is also multi-dimensional. The study also explored whether certain combinations or sequencing of factors helped or hindered people’s movements out of poverty. Individual life histories and patterns of movements were examined to see the links to key events and policy shifts at the community and national levels. The study also examined gender differences in the triggers for escaping poverty and in the dynamics of chronic poverty.

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    Last updated: 2009-02-03

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