What is Poverty? Who Decides How We Define Poverty?

How We Define Poverty

What is poverty? Who decides how we define poverty? To answer these and other questions relate to poverty, ATD Fourth World, in partnership with Oxford University, conducted a participatory international research project called “The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty”. The project took place in six countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, France, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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For three years, people living in poverty, professionals and academics worked together to clarify how we define poverty and its multi-dimensional aspects. Research teams defined nine interdependent dimensions common to all six countries. The long-term goal of this project is to help develop better policies to eradicate poverty.

Download the full “The Hidden Dimensions of Poverty” report.

Read more about this research and the nine dimensions of poverty:

“Being a victim of prejudice, first considered as poor, but not as a human being. Having the label of poor. There is a duality: on the one side, people living in poverty are invisible. On the other hand they are visible because they are stigmatised.”

(Academic peer group, France)

2 comments Leave a comment
  1. Can we agree that poverty is: “The inability to maintain an acceptable standard of living, independently”. The “acceptable standard” is subjective and can be whatever anyone wants it to be. This would make income irrelevent. It would change the focus from “accomodating poverty” to “encouraging independence”. Consider the social, economic and psychological effects on the individual and society.

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