This book is based on the realities of poor people. It draws upon research conducted in 1999 involving 20,000 poor women and men from 23 countries. Despite very different political, social and economic contexts, there are striking similarities in poor people’s experiences. The common theme underlying poor people’s experiences is one of powerlessness.
Powerlessness consists of multiple and interlocking dimensions of illbeing or poverty. The organisation of this book roughly follows the 10 dimensions of powerlessness and illbeing that emerge from the study. The remainder of the book presents methodology and the challenges faced in conducting the study.