Voices of the Vulnerable

In the face of the global financial crisis a number of developing countries have proven to be remarkably resilient if judged purely in terms of economic growth. At the same time, it appears that the burden of coping has been borne disproportionately by poor and vulnerable people. This reality is poorly understood as it tends to fall below the radar of most traditional monitoring systems.

The qualitative findings presented in this report reveal that even where countries have been resilient and are returning to growth, the day-to-day costs of the crisis have been high for many households. Furthermore, where immediate impacts appear not to have been severe, the ongoing erosion of resilience has the potential to damage longer-term development prospects.

IDS were commissioned by the United Nations Global Pulse team  to carry out the background research to produce the UN Secretary-General’s second report on the impacts of the ongoing economic crisis on vulnerable populations in developing countries.

Project details

start date
8 January 2010
end date
8 June 2010


Supported by
United Nations

About this project

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection

Recent work


Voices of the Poor in the Current Crises


Findings from a participatory study on the impacts and responses to the food, fuel and financial crises indicate poor communities have been hit hard by high food and fuel prices, while the effects of the global financial crisis are beginning to be felt.

2 March 2009