IDS research and analysis aims to improve understanding of the geography and causes of poverty and vulnerability, and produce effective remedies towards poverty reduction.

Poverty research - woman on railway track

Eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Globally, more than 800 million people are still living on less than US$1.25 a day. There are many dimensions to their deprivation, low and irregular incomes, lack of safe drinking water, poor housing, limited access to health and education, and social exclusion and discrimination. Their poverty makes them extremely vulnerable to natural and economic hazards. In many cases, extreme poverty persists over time. Importantly, poverty is not only about 'poor' people but also about the social and economic inequalities that compound and reproduce poverty. Social structures and relationships between the poor and the non-poor, middle class and elites and donors and NGOs are also key.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a bold commitment to end poverty in all forms and dimensions by 2030. This involves targeting the most vulnerable, increasing access to basic resources and services, and supporting communities affected by conflict and climate-related disasters. Conventional frameworks for understanding development and poverty have focused on money, commodities and economic growth. Our research seeks to challenge orthodox views on the nature of poverty and contribute to a new paradigm for development centred on human wellbeing that will contribute to the achievement of the Gobal Goals. 

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Photo of Becky Mitchell More details

Photo of Cathérine Müller, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team More details

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Honorary Associate Ted Jackson More details

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Photo of Jackie Shaw, Research Fellow in the Participation research cluster More details

Photo of Jerker Edstrom More details

Photo of Jo Howard, Research Fellow in the IDS Participation cluster More details

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Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mora photo More details

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Photo of Keetie Roelen, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Protection, IDS More details

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IDS staff or research student More details

Photo of Naomi Hossain, IDS Research Fellow More details

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Photo of Nick Nisbett, IDS Research Fellow in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction team More details

Photo of Patricia Justino, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Research Fellow More details

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Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies. More details

Analysis of Maharashtra’s Decline in Childhood Stunting

UNICEF and IDS are collaborating to undertake an in-depth analysis of the factors that may have led to the 16% decline in child stunting in Maharashtra evidenced in surveys covering the period 2006-2012. More details

Burundi Graduation Programme Evaluation

In December 2012, Concern Burundi launched its 'Graduation Model Programme' in two provinces in Burundi to work with extremely poor and marginalised communities. More details

Challenging the Investment Climate Paradigm: Governance and Growth in Vietnam

This project examines a key assumption which underlies one of the main approaches to poverty reduction currently advocated and practised by many international development agencies. More details

Child Vulnerability Assessment, UNICEF Myanmar

IDS has been commissioned to analyse the most recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data and write a report on child vulnerability, which can be utilized for evidence based programming and advocacy to improve children's status in Myanmar. More details

Developing the Inclusive Economies Measurement Framework: Applying to Different Contexts and Exploring Theories of Change

The Rockefeller Foundation defines inclusive economies as ones that are equitable, participatory, growing, stable, and sustainable. This project is developing and applying indicators of inclusive economies at sub-national scales, such as cities and intra-national market systems. More details

DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development

Running innovation prizes that will improve poor people's resilience to climate change. More details

Environment and PRSPs

This research project was initiated and conceptualised in the framework of the Poverty Environment Partnership (PEP), an informal network of around 30-donor and non-governmental organisations that works on strengthening the nexus between poverty reduction and environmental protection in development cooperation. More details

Fighting Over Land: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Colombia

The aim of this project is to develop a research agenda on the long-term effect of civil conflict on institutions, particularly on land tenure structure, in Colombia. More details

Food Security, Gender Equality and Peace-Building: Theoretical Framework and Future Agendas

IDS researchers have been commissioned to generate knowledge and evidence-based, actionable recommendations to governments and other stakeholders on the nexus between support to food and nutrition security and building resilient livelihoods, peace processes and stability, and how to integrate gender issues into appropriate policies and actions related to food and nutrition security in situations where conflict exists, has recently ceased, or is likely to reoccur. More details

Future Research Leaders ‘Reducing Poverty in the First 18 years of Life'

This proposed research responds to these concerns by using monetary and non-monetary measures to analyse child poverty dynamics, assessing overlaps and mismatches between those measures and investigating reasons for potential differences More details

Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa (GroFutures)

GroFutures is a 4-year interdisciplinary research project aiming to develop the scientific basis and participatory management processes by which groundwater resources can be used sustainably for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Haitian Graduation Research

The Haitian Graduation Research Programme is a partnership between IDS and Fonkoze. The research has five components designed to understand better the impact of Fonkoze's Graduation Programme for the extreme poor. More details

IDS BRAC Partnership: ESRC Funded Research on Graduation as Reslilience

What determines the success of a poverty eradication programme? More details

Impact Evaluation for the UNICEF SCT Project in Oromia and SNNPR

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is collaborating with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to conduct an impact evaluation of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme in Oromia and SNNP Regions of Ethiopia for UNICEF Ethiopia. More details

Impact Evaluation of Swedfund's Poverty Impact

This project addresses the following question: Have the investments undertaken by Swedfund contributed to poverty reduction and, if so, to what extent and how? More details

Informal Work and Wellbeing in Urban South Asia: Who Succeeds, Who Fails and Under What Conditions?

This study proposes an exploration of the determinants of wellbeing for informal workers living in informal settlements across a diverse set of urbanising localities in Bangladesh and India. We will present empirical evidence on what patterns and gradations of wellbeing success and failure are emerging for women and men engaged in informal work and living in informal settlements. More details

Market Based Solutions for the Extreme Poor

Studies have shown that it is often wealthier people in a community who benefit from market approaches to combatting poverty – men more than women, non-disabled more than disabled. So how and to what extent can market-based solutions improve the lives of extremely poor people? More details

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change is developing a framework to analyse alternative pathways that link different forms of technological innovation, and evaluate resulting structural change and inclusion outcomes in low-income countries. More details

Pathways to Stronger Futures in Haiti

It is widely understood that poverty undermines early childhood development (ECD). In turn, poor ECD reinforces intergenerational transmission of poverty. Economic strengthening through comprehensive social protection may offer a 'double boon': it can improve ECD in the short-term and reduce poverty in the long-run. More details

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View all Research Theme's publications

Use this search to display this theme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.

This is the image of the report Inequality and Social Justice Roundtable Consultation.

Inequality and Social Justice Roundtable Consultation

This report synthesizes a high-level Consultation convened by IDS and the UN Millennium Achievement Fund, which brought together leaders in the UN, NGOs, research institutions and governments to discuss the problem of global inequalities and the agenda to address them. More details

Stopping Child Poverty in its Tracks: The Role for Social Protection in Vietnam

Stopping Child Poverty in its Tracks: The Role for Social Protection in Vietnam

IDS Working Paper 371 (2011)

A specific focus on children has been called for within the development and social protection debates, for moral, economic, rights and social justice reasons. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Effect of Civil Conflicts on Domestic Violence

Job Market Paper (2011)

Civil conflicts will not only increase the incidence of domestic violence among women who are directly exposed to them while growing up, but also among their offspring. Understanding this mechanism is crucial for designing and implementing policies that aim at reducing the level of violence in a society that has experienced a civil conflict, as is the case of Peru. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Testing Resilience Thinking in a Poverty Context: Experience from the Niger River Basin

Global Environmental Change (2011)

This paper takes an empirical approach by focusing on the fundamentals of resilience thinking to evaluate its usefulness in developing relevant management interventions in small-scale fisheries in the Niger River Basin in West Africa. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Potential role of Small Fish in Improving Micronutrient Deficiencies in Developing Countries: Building the Evidence

Public Health Nutrition (2011)

Objective: To build a comprehensive overview of the potential role of fish in improving nutrition with respect to certain micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries. More details

Non-IDS publication

Multidimensional Welfare Distributions: Empirical Applications Using Household Panel Data from Vietnam

Applied Economics 44.29 (2011)

Published in Applied Economics, this Journal article explores the empirical application of theoretical multi-dimensional welfare distribution analysis techniques to real household welfare distributions. More details

IDS Practice Paper

Tackling Poverty in a Changing Climate: Bridging Concepts and Practice for Low Carbon Climate Resilient Development

This is the second Bridging Paper from the Hub's second learning cycle: Tackling Poverty in a Changing Climate. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Is the Dual Burden of Over-and Under-Nutrition a Concern for Poor Households In Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam?

Young Lives Working Paper 67 (2011)

Under-nutrition among children remains a serious problem in impoverished populations around the world. It is estimated to be the underlying cause of one-third of all deaths of children below the age of five years. More details

This is the cover image for Child Poverty, Evidence and Policy: Mainstreaming Children in International Development

Child Poverty, Evidence and Policy: Mainstreaming Children in International Development

This book is about the opportunities and challenges involved in mainstreaming knowledge about children in international development policy and practice. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Mediating Voices, Communicating Realities: Using Information Crowdsourcing Tools, Open Data Initiatives and Digital Media to Support and Protect the Vulnerable

This is the final report from a research project, supported by the UK Department for International Development, examining whether and how open ICT projects designed to support the poor can make a difference in their lives and livelihoods. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Poverty in Small-Scale Inland Fisheries: Old Issues, New Analysis

Progress in Development Studies 11.2 11.2 (2011)

Using a new framework combining vulnerability and exclusion as two central dimensions of poverty, this article revisits some of the long-standing beliefs about poverty in small-scale fisheries. We argue that the issue of poverty in fish-dependent communities cannot be reduced to a simple correlation between income poverty and fishery dependence. More details

IDS Working Paper

Does Research Reduce Poverty? Assessing the Welfare Impacts of Policy-oriented Research in Agriculture

IDS Working Paper 360 (2011)

In the current context of the global financial crisis and its aftermath, development resources are likely to be getting scarcer. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Girls in Transition—How to Build Evidence and Gain Insight

Child Indicators Research DOI 10.1007/s12187-011-9113-7 (2011)

As a result of the increased acknowledgement that children deserve a special focus in poverty measurement, the range of measures aiming to capture the specific nature of child poverty and vulnerability has increased in size and scope over the last few years. More details

IDS Research Summary

Does Research Reduce Poverty? Assessing the Welfare Impacts of Policy-oriented Research in Agriculture

IDS Research Summary of IDS Working Paper 360 (2011)

This paper seeks to identify different ways of assessing the impact of 'policy-oriented' development research. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Poor Countries or Poor People? Development Assistance and the New Geography of Global Poverty

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management Working Paper (2011)

Two decades ago, 93% of the world's poor lived in countries officially classified as Low Income. Now, 72% of the world's poor live in Middle Income Countries (MICs). More details

CSP Research Report 01 cover

The Mobility Patterns of Rural-Urban Migrants and their Social Protection in China: Beyond the Extension of Urban-based Approaches

CSP Research Report 01 (2011)

Although security of residence is central to the social policy agenda in most developed countries, it has not been a prominent concern is most developing countries in recent years. In countries such as Pakistan, urban planning is skewed in favour of housing for the rich and the middle classes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Recent Trends in Disaster Impacts on Child Welfare and Development 1999-2009

Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (2011)

This study presents a novel way to separately investigate trends during the past decade regarding the impact of extensive and intensive disasters on child welfare and development. Studies covered a broad variety of countries located in different geographical regions and exposed to different types of hazard. More details

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BLOG: MVP Impacts? New Paper in The Lancet

09 May 2012
By Lawrence Haddad
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