Webinar video: Wellbeing and extreme and persistent poverty

Prof Sarah White (University of Bath) and Andrew Shepherd (Chronic Poverty Advisory Network) gave presentations on  extreme and persistent poverty and wellbeing.  They drew on their experience research to reflect on comments and questions raised by participating development practitioners. The webinar was held on 3 March 2016. An audio-only version of the webinar is available

The ABCs of financial education: Experimental evidence on attitudes, behaviour, and cognitive biases

Fenella Carpena, Shawn Cole, Jeremy Shapiro and Bilal Zia

How do financial education interventions facilitate informed economic decision-making? This paper argues that while financial education improves financial awareness and attitudes, it fails to improve longer term behavioural outcomes on savings and borrowing.  It focuses on what may prevent recipients from benefitting from financial education if not addressed within the ...» more

Social inclusion, poverty eradication and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development

Esuna Dugarova

A renewed interest in social inclusion has highlighted the need for the simultaneous promotion of productivity, poverty reduction and greater inclusiveness. This paper argues that there are three key interrelated areas that are critical for poverty eradication and inclusive development: (i) universal social protection; (ii) meaningful participation; and (iii) social and ...» more

Women, business and the law 2016: Getting to equal

World Bank

Since 2009, Women, business and the law has collected data about legal restrictions on women’s entrepreneurship and employment in order to inform policy discussions and promote research on the linkages between the law and women’s economic opportunities. This report is the fourth in the series. The report includes data on seven indicators: accessing institutions, using ...» more

Debunking the stereotype of the lazy welfare recipient: Evidence from cash transfer programs worldwide

Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Gabriel Kreindler, & Benjamin A. Olken

This paper re-analyses the results of seven randomized controlled trials of government run cash transfer programs from six countries – Honduras, Indonesia, Morocco, Mexico (2 different programs), Nicaragua, and the Philippines – to examine the program impacts on labour supply. The re-analysis uses harmonized data definitions and empirical strategies to make the data as ...» more

Private sector development for poverty reduction: opportunities and challenges for Norwegian development aid

Espen Villanger & Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge

What are the most appropriate private sector development (PSD) interventions for poverty reduction? PSD is very demanding – attracting controversy and requiring highly competent implementing institutions - nevertheless, it remains popular among policy makers. Focusing on areas under the Norad PSD mandate, this paper explores the challenges and opportunities of different ...» more

Toward better global poverty measures

Martin Ravallion

While much progress has been made over the last 25 years in measuring global poverty, a number of challenges remain. This paper discusses some current issues that are specific to global poverty monitoring. It argues that improving global poverty measures is important to public knowledge, and helps to inform the work of development agencies, in international policy making and ...» more

Social development and human development

This Topic Guide aims to answer the question ‘What is the interaction between social development issues and human development outcomes?’ An individual’s right to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living cannot be realised without addressing social development issues. This is because these issues determine individuals’ access to ...» more

Is child work detrimental to the educational achievement of children?

Tassew Woldehanna and Aregawi Gebremedhin

To what extent does child work have an effect on education? This study adds value to the previous work done by Young Lives in Ethiopia by investigating the causal relationship between child work and education. It finds that child work has an adverse effect on children's educational achievement, and suggests that the Government of Ethiopia should focus on addressing trigger ...» more

Multidimensional poverty

While people generally recognise poverty instantly when they encounter it, they often find difficulty in saying precisely what it is.  Experts share the same difficulty and hence definitions frequently reflect what can most readily be measured. Poverty is commonly taken to be low income and, in global debates, is often indexed by income of $1.25…» more

Extreme and persistent poverty

Extreme and persistent poverty is once again a high profile issue thanks to the commitment to end extreme poverty and leave no one behind in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Given the great difficulty of the task ahead, it will remain so for some years to come. While a lot is known about…» more

The social impact of private sector development

The private sector can have a transformational impact on peoples’ lives as a creator of jobs and producer of goods and services that poor people use. Donor agencies are paying increasing attention to how private sector development can be leveraged to support poverty reduction and sustainable, equitable and inclusive economic growth. Making use of social development thinking is ...» more

Poverty eradication in Iraq

Despite being an oil-rich, lower-middle income country, poverty remains prevalent in Iraq. This rapid review looks at the recent literature on poverty in Iraq and identifies the barriers to, and opportunities for, poverty reduction and eradication. The literature indicates that: 3.9 per cent of people in Iraq are living in extreme poverty (2012). 18.9 per cent live below ...» more


Wellbeing is advocated as a positive, more inclusive approach to development, which goes beyond a narrow focus on policy or programme objectives to comprehend the real impact on people’s lives. Wellbeing is, however, a highly contested term, with different concepts and methods producing quite different results. This briefing provides a guide to the main approaches…» more

Longitudinal social research in Ethiopia

The prominent longitudinal studies in Ethiopia, from which much of the academic and practitioner literature draws from, include: Young lives: an international study on childhood poverty involving 12,000 children in four countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over 15 years. Research priorities include nutrition, health, education and child work. Ethiopian Rural Households ...» more

Eliminating extreme poverty in Africa: Trends, policies and the role of international organizations

Zorobabel Bicaba, Zuzana Brixiová, Mthuli Ncube

This paper focuses on: (i) poverty paths in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) under different assumptions on key macroeconomic variables, that is (consumption) growth, population growth and income distribution; and (ii) national, regional and global policies that can be adopted to improve upon poverty outcomes. It explores how policies of global institutions such as the G20 can ...» more

Development as Freedom in a Digital Age: Experiences from the Rural Poor in Bolivia

Björn Sören Gigler

What impact do new information and communication technologies (ICTs) have on people living in poverty in developing countries? Can ICTs make a real difference in the lives of the poor and thus enhance their well-being? Under what conditions can information technology empower poor communities? What are some of the challenges and pitfalls facing local communities in using ...» more

What Do Indian Middle Class Attitudes to Poverty Tell Us About the Politics of Poverty Reduction?

Niheer Dasandi

What makes the middle classes oppose or support initiatives intended to lift people out of poverty, and how can the development community secure their interest in and approval of such policies? The assumption among donors, development practitioners and researchers is often that the middle class are either not interested in helping the poor, or are motivated by self-interest ...» more

Jobs, unemployment and violence

(This 10-minute presentation accompanying the reading pack was recorded at the GSDRC Seminar on Conflict and Development, London, 23 March 2015.) The notion that unemployment is a strong probable cause or motivating factor behind violence and violent conflict is remarkably pervasive in international development. It is believed that unemployment triggers participation in insurgencies, prompts people…» more