Working Paper

Poverty and Livelihoods: Whose Reality Counts?

Published on 1 January 1995

Anti-poverty rhetoric is widespread, and some indicators of human well-being have improved. Current conditions are often appalling, trends in many places negative, and future prospects bad. In assessing conditions, professionals’ realities are universal, reductionist, standardised and stable. The realities of poor people are local, complex, diverse and dynamic. Sustainable livelihoods are an objective on which most poor people and professionals can agree.


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Robert Chambers

Research Associate

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Chambers, R
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