Poverty Essay for Students and Children

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500+ Words Essay on Poverty Essay

“Poverty is the worst form of violence”. – Mahatma Gandhi.

poverty essay

How Poverty is Measured?

For measuring poverty United nations have devised two measures of poverty – Absolute & relative poverty.  Absolute poverty is used to measure poverty in developing countries like India. Relative poverty is used to measure poverty in developed countries like the USA. In absolute poverty, a line based on the minimum level of income has been created & is called a poverty line.  If per day income of a family is below this level, then it is poor or below the poverty line. If per day income of a family is above this level, then it is non-poor or above the poverty line. In India, the new poverty line is  Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 47 in urban areas.

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Causes of Poverty

According to the Noble prize winner South African leader, Nelson Mandela – “Poverty is not natural, it is manmade”. The above statement is true as the causes of poverty are generally man-made. There are various causes of poverty but the most important is population. Rising population is putting the burden on the resources & budget of countries. Governments are finding difficult to provide food, shelter & employment to the rising population.

The other causes are- lack of education, war, natural disaster, lack of employment, lack of infrastructure, political instability, etc. For instance- lack of employment opportunities makes a person jobless & he is not able to earn enough to fulfill the basic necessities of his family & becomes poor. Lack of education compels a person for less paying jobs & it makes him poorer. Lack of infrastructure means there are no industries, banks, etc. in a country resulting in lack of employment opportunities. Natural disasters like flood, earthquake also contribute to poverty.

In some countries, especially African countries like Somalia, a long period of civil war has made poverty widespread. This is because all the resources & money is being spent in war instead of public welfare. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. are prone to natural disasters like cyclone, etc. These disasters occur every year causing poverty to rise.

Ill Effects of Poverty

Poverty affects the life of a poor family. A poor person is not able to take proper food & nutrition &his capacity to work reduces. Reduced capacity to work further reduces his income, making him poorer. Children from poor family never get proper schooling & proper nutrition. They have to work to support their family & this destroys their childhood. Some of them may also involve in crimes like theft, murder, robbery, etc. A poor person remains uneducated & is forced to live under unhygienic conditions in slums. There are no proper sanitation & drinking water facility in slums & he falls ill often &  his health deteriorates. A poor person generally dies an early death. So, all social evils are related to poverty.

Government Schemes to Remove Poverty

The government of India also took several measures to eradicate poverty from India. Some of them are – creating employment opportunities , controlling population, etc. In India, about 60% of the population is still dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Government has taken certain measures to promote agriculture in India. The government constructed certain dams & canals in our country to provide easy availability of water for irrigation. Government has also taken steps for the cheap availability of seeds & farming equipment to promote agriculture. Government is also promoting farming of cash crops like cotton, instead of food crops. In cities, the government is promoting industrialization to create more jobs. Government has also opened  ‘Ration shops’. Other measures include providing free & compulsory education for children up to 14 years of age, scholarship to deserving students from a poor background, providing subsidized houses to poor people, etc.

Poverty is a social evil, we can also contribute to control it. For example- we can simply donate old clothes to poor people, we can also sponsor the education of a poor child or we can utilize our free time by teaching poor students. Remember before wasting food, somebody is still sleeping hungry.

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  • Copy URL https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/why-the-u-s-is-rethinking-its-approach-to-poverty

Why the U.S. is rethinking its approach to poverty

At least one Saturday each month, Arlean Younger volunteers handing out boxes of donated food at church. Last time, she helped distribute provisions to more than 100 people. At the end of the shift, she took home a box, too — for herself and Mylie Jai, the little girl she has been taking care of since infancy.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the number of American households in poverty was shrinking. In 2019, 34 million people lived in poverty , a decrease of 4.2 million individuals from a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau. Children made up a substantial portion of those in low-income households, according to the latest available data from a recent National Academies of Sciences study. A year since the coronavirus began its deadly rampage in the U.S., economic stresses have pushed millions more households to the brink, with some estimates suggesting it also forced an additional 2.5 million more children into poverty.

At the end of 2020, more than 50 million people were facing hunger, up 15 million from the year before, according to data from Feeding America , an anti-hunger organization. Millions of Americans have turned to food banks, with four out of 10 doing so for the first time during the pandemic.

Each month, Younger earns roughly $2,000 from her job at a company that hires home health aides. But the money is spent almost as soon as her deposit clears. Rent gobbles up $800. Utilities cost $300. Water adds $130. And $400 goes for the gas she needs to reach her health care clients. There are credit card bills and the new cost of daycare for Mylie Jae, whose school, the cost of which is normally subsidized by the state, shut down. The COVID-19 pandemic has made everything more precarious, including her own work.

Younger’s role is usually that of a manager but often demands more than overseeing client needs and people’s schedules. She supervises eight employees. Because of pandemic-driven demand, Younger said she often cares for clients herself, working far more than 40 hours, sometimes seven days a week. She drives up to 40 minutes each way to reach the clients farthest from her house; the costs are always greater than what her company reimburses her. She feels like she is struggling to provide a good home for the girl who calls her “Mama.”

Lawmakers in the U.S. have for years debated how to track poverty, and child poverty in particular. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, when the country is caught in a deep recession that has forced families deeper into financial difficulty amid widening inequalities, “it’s not surprising” that politicians have found renewed interest in curbing this hardship, said Rebecca Blank, a macroeconomist who worked on anti-poverty policy for the the Clinton and Obama administrations and now serves as chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

essay about fighting poverty

Chart by Megan McGrew

Along with what it provides in COVID relief, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Joe Biden this month offers one of the most sweeping anti-poverty packages in recent memory. Along with one-time stimulus checks to most children and adults and an extension of unemployment benefits, the legislation increases the child tax credit to between $3,000 and $3,600, depending on the age of the child, and makes that money available over the course of the year rather than only at tax-filing time. It offers housing vouchers for those nearing homelessness, as well as health care subsidies for people whose states have not expanded Medicaid.

One estimate by the Urban Institute suggests these measures will cut child poverty in half for children, and significantly for families experiencing job loss.

READ MORE: How to help kids build resilience amid COVID-19 chaos

In the pandemic, advocates have an opportunity to generate sufficient political will for the U.S. to not only sew up some of the holes in its social safety net, but make it big enough to catch more families and individuals in need. “One thing we know out of American history is when we expand these programs, it tends to be in response to more than just the very poor having need,” Blank said. “When need is more expansive, people are more willing to think about new things.”

The bill only guarantees the expanded tax credit for a year, though Democrats have promised to extend the benefit. The question now: Could this become permanent? If the tax credit expires, the child poverty rate will double again by 2022. Many Republicans, who are seeking to regain control of Congress in the next midterm elections, have voiced concerns about supporting continued assistance, citing costs or because the measures don’t do enough to incentivize work. But advocates say the idea of a long-standing safety net has now entered the conversation, and there are a number of small models of success across the country and over time that lawmakers can draw from when considering solutions.

How the U.S. has attempted to address poverty

For years, the United States has maintained a stubbornly high rate of child poverty compared to other developed countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported in November 2019 . Traditionally, Americans have bristled at giving taxpayer money to alleviate poverty, especially if that means the government will assume a greater role in people’s daily lives. But not making a serious investment in solving the problem comes with major costs.

Lack of a political will has obstructed greater progress on child poverty are cold and straightforward, said Cara Baldari, vice president, family economics, housing and homelessness at First Focus on Children, a child advocacy organization. “Kids can’t vote,” she said. That has helped perpetuate a trend in the U.S. where children are more likely than adults to live in poverty because a child’s fortune matches that of the grown-up who cares for them.

Child poverty affects an estimated 9.6 million children and costs the U.S. as much as $1.1 trillion each year, according to a 2019 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine . Studies suggest children accumulate these costs over the course of a lifetime due to worse health outcomes that end up adding up to expensive treatment and lost productivity in the job market. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to report lower incomes, worse health outcomes and less likely to experience social and emotional turmoil.

In the 2016 National Survey on Children’s Health, parents reported that 25.5 percent of children have experienced economic hardship “somewhat” or “very often.” By that measure, poverty is the most common adverse childhood experience in the United States — more common than divorce or separation of parents or living with someone struggling with alcohol or substance use. These events offer a heightened risk of trauma that can have potentially lasting effects on a child’s physical, mental and emotional health, according to Child Trends , a research organization focused on studying child development and well-being.

Other countries have made explicit moves in recent years to tackle those kinds of issues. In 2019, Canada’s Poverty Reduction Act became law , part of a $22 billion package to create poverty reduction targets and funnel resources toward programs that can help meet the social and economic need. The country is on track to reduce child poverty by half, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. New Zealand has also released intermediate and long-term targets designed to cut child poverty dramatically within a decade. In both countries, people receive direct monthly payments to give families a cushion against poverty.

The U.S. hasn’t yet gotten that far, instead operating multiple policies entangled in a way that sometimes pits them against one another. To stem hunger, the federal government funds Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits. To help working families, the Earned Income Tax Credit refunds money to individuals based on what was earned and household need. And those who qualify to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are often flagged to receive job training or help securing employment. But families often bump up against income thresholds, earning too little to live comfortably but too much to receive government benefits. Younger, 49, has been caring for Mylie Jai for five years, ever since she offered help to a friend who had just given birth and was hopping between rundown motels in Jackson, Mississippi, without a stable home, car or job. Mylie Jai is now in preschool, and Younger is her official legal guardian. Younger was told she earns too much money to qualify for SNAP benefits, she said.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services normally covers the cost of Mylie Jai’s school, but in late February, the building was shut down after pipes burst in a historic snowfall and ice storm. Younger was forced to instead send Mylie Jae to a small daycare operated by a friend, but the state’s vouchers got caught in bureaucratic red tape, so she said she had to come up with $90 per week out of pocket.

Medicaid covers Mylie Jai’s doctor visits, Younger said, but she herself visits a community health center if she gets sick and cannot afford health insurance, despite being a health care worker.

essay about fighting poverty

Arlean Younger, 49, of Jackson, Mississippi, works full-time (and often logging extra hours) for a company that hires home health aides. But she struggles to make ends meet for herself and Mylie Jai, 5, for whom she is the legal guardian. Photos courtesy of Arlean Younger

Those ill-fitting pieces are problematic, said Beryl Levinger, a child policy expert and professor at Middlebury Institute, and policymakers need to take a more holistic approach, rather than hunt for a silver bullet that doesn’t exist.

Levinger also served as a researcher on a new report from child advocacy group Save the Children that used data to analyze which states offered kids the best and worst COVID-19 responses . Minnesota, Utah and Washington state ranked highest while Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas were among the lowest. This latest report suggested 6 million more children endured hunger during the pandemic, and a quarter of children lacked resources for remote learning, which made completing school work virtually impossible for many families. The report urged states to protect child care, which has unraveled during the pandemic, and address child hunger through SNAP and other federal programs.

“This problem will not end even when the last of the vaccine is distributed,” the report said. “The additional benefits and supports for these children and families will need to be made permanent until all children have access to the food they need.”

The debate over cash payments

Created as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, the child tax credit offered a $500-per-child nonrefundable credit to ease the tax burden of middle-income households. Since then, it has become more tightly woven into the U.S. social safety net over time, said Elaine Maag, who studies programs for low-income families and children for the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Decades later, she said the policy has evolved and holds the potential to become a permanent fixture to help families.

But government programs, no matter how well designed or executed to fit a certain set of circumstances, often miss the mark, Maag said, because life is messy. She pointed to SNAP benefits as an example. With them, a person may have food, but if they get sick, do they have money to pay for a doctor’s visit or to fill a drug prescription? A mountain of research that suggests direct cash payments are the most effective way to alleviate poverty and documents a “growing understanding that people know how to solve their problems the best way,” Maag said. “Cash can be used to meet all your needs.”

Of all of the provisions in the latest relief bill, the $1,400 cash payments have the most potential to reduce poverty, according to the Urban Institute’s analysis. In recent years, there has been growing discussion of using a universal income to alleviate poverty, but it is not politically popular. Democratic presidential candidate and philanthropist Andrew Yang campaigned on this idea, but just a fraction of Democrats supported it, much less the country overall. In a July 2019 poll from PBS NewsHour, NPR and Marist , only 26 percent of Americans said they supported giving each U.S. adult $1,000 per month, a proposal that was more popular among Democrats than Republicans.

Despite robust evidence supporting the use of direct payments, Americans historically do not like to give people tax-payer dollars unless society deems them to be deserving, Maag said. Since the Great Depression, older adults, people with disabilities or some survivors of people who die have received cash benefits. But distributing cash payments to families or other more specific groups is an easier political sales pitch than to do so for all able-bodied adults, Maag said.

So for generations, the U.S. has pursued anti-poverty policies that are very specific about how people spend their resources, said Aisha Nyandoro, chief executive of Springboard to Opportunities, a direct service organization. “Why not try something different?”

That is what Nyandoro’s organization did in 2018 when it founded the Magnolia Mother’s Trust. The project gave $1,000 per month for 12 months to Black mothers living in extreme poverty in Jackson, Mississippi. The goal was to target systemic problems by empowering women with cash payments so they could decide how to improve their lives. The project has grown from helping 20 women to more than 200. During that time, Nyandoro said she has witnessed women pay off debt, return to school, cook more nutritious meals for their families and become better parents.

Tamara Ware was one of those women. In late February 2020, she had to leave her job at a child care facility, afraid she might bring the coronavirus home to her three daughters, ages 13, 14 and 17, who were struggling in school even before the virus forced classrooms to close and instruction to go virtual. She had been earning $11 per hour and had no savings to pay for food or housing.

essay about fighting poverty

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Tamara Ware, 36, of Jackson, Mississippi, out of her job at a child care facility, Ware said she did not know how she could afford to raise her three daughters, age 13, 14 and 17. But when she received $1,000 per month for a year from the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, Ware said she could focus on being a more patient, present and understanding parent. For the first time in years, she threw a birthday party for her daughter, Erianna, in July. Photos courtesy of Tamara Ware

Within weeks, Ware was accepted into the trust. She found tutoring help for her daughters and counselors for them to address trauma they had endured, including the grief and loss of Ware’s twin sister, who had been shot and killed eight years earlier. She threw a party to celebrate her daughters’ birthdays, something she hadn’t been able to afford to do in years. She became a more patient and understanding mother, she said, and developed a deep sense of community with other mothers who worked to overcome struggles that had ensnared them for years.

“I could be in the moment,” Ware said. “Look, I ain’t gotta worry about nothing this month.”

She graduated from the program last month, and it gave her a chance to build her own business as a child care provider.

“My head is in the right direction,” Ware said. “I have the tools I need now.”

Many women in the program report feelings of joy, Nyandoro said. Often, that is because they struggled to survive. With a guaranteed income in place, the women’s focus could broaden beyond meeting basic needs and tapping to what they actually wanted in life.

“If you have lived a life of scarcity so often, joy is something you feel like you haven’t been allowed either. You’re constantly trying to survive,” she said. “You tell yourself dreams are something for other people.”

What works?

After the implementation of the “Great Society” programs in the 1960s, such as Medicaid and federal funding for education, the U.S. saw its child poverty rate cut in half. If successful, advocates say the American Rescue Plan could help bring the U.S. and other countries closer to a global goal set in motion by the United Nations (long before COVID-19) to end extreme child poverty by 2030 and cut child poverty rates in half worldwide.

Researchers behind a pilot universal income program that gave participants in Stockton, California, $500 a month released data that showed a 12 percent increase in full-time employment after one year, and 62 percent reported paying off debt, a 10 percent increase from before the program began.

The biggest spending category was food, their research showed, followed by merchandise, utilities and auto costs, which all have an impact on someone’s ability to get and keep a job, researchers said.

More than 40 mayors across the country who are part of a Mayors for Guaranteed Income initiative are launching similar programs.

“COVID-19 has made it very, very clear that you could play by all the rules, that you could be working, and that still may not be enough,” Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, told the PBS NewsHour in December.

Some economists reviewing Stockton’s pilot have also pointed out the complicated questions that arise around deciding who is eligible for these kinds of programs and how to reach them. Certain requirements may unintentionally cut out people who need help most, in favor of people who don’t have as much need. And cash can only go so far in solving structural issues like access to health care and education.

During the pandemic, fighting poverty has drawn some bipartisan support. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, proposed the $254 billion Family Security Act to replace some existing programs with a monthly child allowance — $350 for each young child and $250 for every school-aged child. But the cost of this program would mean making choices about discontinuing others, and some experts have raised concerns about the possible unintended consequences of replacing programs, such as TANF, that have been used to connect families to other services. That could lead to families falling through the cracks and needs going unmet.

But some critics say these programs don’t go far enough to incentivize work as a way to alleviate poverty. Robert Rector, a welfare policy expert for the conservative Heritage Foundation, said he doesn’t think the pandemic justifies the child poverty policies passed into law. Instead, he said, the U.S. already has “a very large welfare state,” adding that roughly $500 billion he said is currently devoted to poverty-alleviation programs should be “more efficient” and “targeted to be more supportive of work.”

READ MORE: How the economic relief law narrows the equity gap for farmers of color

The policies targeting child poverty in the American Rescue Plan represent “an enormous expansion of the welfare state” and are only exceeded by the Affordable Care Act, Rector said.

“You want to be compassionate to be people who need assistance, but you don’t want free handouts where an individual can take advantage of the charity extended to them,” he said.

In the 2019 report, researchers suggested expanding benefits to target food and housing insecurity, along with the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, and creating a child allowance, as Romney’ proposed, which the study found would have the biggest impact on low-income households. Families who claim children as dependents could receive these funds as deposits from the Social Security Administration or even the Internal Revenue Service, according to proposals currently before policymakers. They predicted that those measures could stabilize families in need and reduce child poverty by almost half in the U.S. On a basic level, putting targets in place would help policymakers see if programs like these are making a difference in reducing child poverty, such as how many children and households receive SNAP benefits or if the Census Bureau develops a more accurate measure of poverty based on who actually gets benefits or has health care coverage due to household income.

Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., said he sees increased interest in alleviating child poverty as “investing in the future of our country.” While U.S. politics are still intensely polarized, people can still rally behind children, added Davis, who authored the Child Poverty Reduction Act.

“We are at a tremendous crossroads right now in the future of our country, and so, this will help to move America forward and not move America backwards,” Davis said.

That includes people like Younger. She said she feels one major setback away from economic catastrophe, and doesn’t know how long she can keep herself and Mylie Jai afloat.

“Any help at the time of need we’re in right now, I’m thankful for,” Younger said.

She doesn’t allow Mylie Jai to attend birthday parties because she is afraid she might get sick. Her daughter plays with baby dolls and imaginary friends, and loves to play in the park.

For Younger, having a little more money could release her from being pinned down into survival mode each day. She could focus more fully on the moments she spends with Mylie Jai and be empowered to help her secure a better future.

“What would help me is to make sure the little girl I take care of every day grows up to be a prosperous adult,” Younger said.

Laura Santhanam is the Health Reporter and Coordinating Producer for Polling for the PBS NewsHour, where she has also worked as the Data Producer. Follow @LauraSanthanam

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essay about fighting poverty

Human Rights Careers

5 Essays About Poverty Everyone Should Know

Poverty is one of the driving forces of inequality in the world. Between 1990-2015, much progress was made. The number of people living on less than $1.90 went from 36% to 10%. However, according to the World Bank , the COVID-19 pandemic represents a serious problem that disproportionately impacts the poor. Research released in February of 2020 shows that by 2030, up to ⅔ of the “global extreme poor” will be living in conflict-affected and fragile economies. Poverty will remain a major human rights issue for decades to come. Here are five essays about the issue that everyone should know:

“We need an economic bill of rights” –  Martin Luther King Jr.

The Guardian published an abridged version of this essay in 2018, which was originally released in Look magazine just after Dr. King was killed. In this piece, Dr. King explains why an economic bill of rights is necessary. He points out that while mass unemployment within the black community is a “social problem,” it’s a “depression” in the white community. An economic bill of rights would give a job to everyone who wants one and who can work. It would also give an income to those who can’t work. Dr. King affirms his commitment to non-violence. He’s fully aware that tensions are high. He quotes a spiritual, writing “timing is winding up.” Even while the nation progresses, poverty is getting worse.

This essay was reprinted and abridged in The Guardian in an arrangement with The Heirs to the Estate of Martin Luther King. Jr. The most visible representative of the Civil Rights Movement beginning in 1955, Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. His essays and speeches remain timely.

“How Poverty Can Follow Children Into Adulthood” – Priyanka Boghani

This article is from 2017, but it’s more relevant than ever because it was written when 2012 was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. That’s no longer the case. In 2012, around ¼ American children were in poverty. Five years later, children were still more likely than adults to be poor. This is especially true for children of colour. Consequences of poverty include anxiety, hunger, and homelessness. This essay also looks at the long-term consequences that come from growing up in poverty. A child can develop health problems that affect them in adulthood. Poverty can also harm a child’s brain development. Being aware of how poverty affects children and follows them into adulthood is essential as the world deals with the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Priyanka Boghani is a journalist at PBS Frontline. She focuses on U.S. foreign policy, humanitarian crises, and conflicts in the Middle East. She also assists in managing Frontline’s social accounts.

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“5 Reasons COVID-19 Will Impact the Fight to End Extreme Poverty” – Leah Rodriguez

For decades, the UN has attempted to end extreme poverty. In the face of the novel coronavirus outbreak, new challenges threaten the fight against poverty. In this essay, Dr. Natalie Linos, a Harvard social epidemiologist, urges the world to have a “social conversation” about how the disease impacts poverty and inequality. If nothing is done, it’s unlikely that the UN will meet its Global Goals by 2030. Poverty and COVID-19 intersect in five key ways. For one, low-income people are more vulnerable to disease. They also don’t have equal access to healthcare or job stability. This piece provides a clear, concise summary of why this outbreak is especially concerning for the global poor.

Leah Rodriguez’s writing at Global Citizen focuses on women, girls, water, and sanitation. She’s also worked as a web producer and homepage editor for New York Magazine’s The Cut.

“Climate apartheid”: World’s poor to suffer most from disasters” – Al Jazeera and news Agencies

The consequences of climate change are well-known to experts like Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. In 2019, he submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council sounding the alarm on how climate change will devastate the poor. While the wealthy will be able to pay their way out of devastation, the poor will not. This will end up creating a “climate apartheid.” Alston states that if climate change isn’t addressed, it will undo the last five decades of progress in poverty education, as well as global health and development .

“Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America” – Barbara Ehrenreich

In this excerpt from her book Nickel and Dimed, Ehrenreich describes her experience choosing to live undercover as an “unskilled worker” in the US. She wanted to investigate the impact the 1996 welfare reform act had on the working poor. Released in 2001, the events take place between the spring of 1998 and the summer of 2000. Ehrenreich decided to live in a town close to her “real life” and finds a place to live and a job. She has her eyes opened to the challenges and “special costs” of being poor. In 2019, The Guardian ranked the book 13th on their list of 100 best books of the 21st century.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 21 books and an activist. She’s worked as an award-winning columnist and essayist.

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About the author, emmaline soken-huberty.

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.

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Breaking the Poverty Trap

Why Poverty and Inequality are Human Rights Issues

Girls from the Kalokol Girls Primary School fetch water from a dry riverbed to carry back to their school, which does not have access to running water. Nearby Lake Turkana is too saline for human consumption. © 2014 Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images for Human Rights Watch

201807us_JRoped_skidrow

What is the relationship between poverty, inequality, and human rights? When a person isn’t able to feed themselves or house their family, if they can’t access clean water or a decent job, or when kids have no choice but to drop out of school or get married because they’re living in poverty, these are all examples of human rights abuses. When government and corporate practices systematically deprive people of the resources they need, poverty becomes entrenched and economic inequality grows. But when you challenge structural inequities and improve access to essential goods and services, people can live with dignity, which is fundamental to upholding human rights. The intersection between poverty, discrimination, exclusion, and a range of other rights abuses are themes across much of our work at Human Rights Watch. Also, addressing the impact of deprivation is fundamental to protecting human rights. We investigate the policies that trap people in poverty so that we can stop the cycles of poverty and promote more inclusive development.  How are governments to blame for poverty?  Governments around the world carry an immense responsibility to support people and help them reach an adequate standard of living, a basic human right. They can do so by ensuring policies don’t support the wealthy at the expense of the poor. But governments do the opposite when they fail to rein in powerful people or companies from actions that result in people living in destitution. And when governments fail to enforce labor standards or roll back policies preventing deforestation or pollution, they’re contributing to the loss of livelihood and a healthy environment for people. Laws that govern land, inheritance, lending, and a whole range of other issues can also disproportionately hurt people already struggling financially.

essay about fighting poverty

Governments also fail to invest in resources and programs that ensure all people have access to what they need. They cut budgets for food and adopt policies or laws that exclude certain children from going to school . For example, in Tanzania , we did work to end discriminatory policies that prevent pregnant girls from attending school. In the United States, the cost of health care prevents certain people from accessing care. As there is a clear correlation between race and poverty in the US, this disproportionately impacts communities of color. Most governments worldwide don’t have social systems to protect the economically most vulnerable from external shocks, although there is a basic human right to social security. Governments are also harming people when they prioritize efficiency over rights when using technology to automate social programs. In the United Kingdom, the government is using a poorly designed algorithm to calculate people’s welfare benefits, creating payment delays and fluctuations that force people into hunger, debt, and poverty. And what about the people who can’t afford internet at their homes? The government still requires them to manage their benefits online. Additionally, because of the pandemic, we are seeing what happens when governments don’t invest enough in social protection programs to make sure people aren’t thrown into economic freefall when crisis strikes.

 The National Bank of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, January 2011. © 2011 Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For example, in Cambodia , many low-wage workers have lost their jobs as companies and factories shut because of the pandemic. Many low-wage workers are turning to micro-loans to pay for essential services such as health care and school fees. Despite government guidance for micro-lenders to provide debt relief, these micro-loan providers are unethically coercing people into selling their land and housing, used as collateral, when they can’t pay back their loans. Cambodia’s government should suspend loan repayments and interest accruals and give people debt protection. How else can governments help people get out of poverty? A critical first step is developing a solid legal framework that protects people’s basic economic rights, like the right to an adequate standard of living, and provides for effective remedies for those whose economic rights are violated. Laws and regulations should prevent people from exploiting political and economic systems to benefit themselves at the expense of the rights of others. This includes worker, environmental, consumer, criminal, or anti-discrimination protections and policies. For example, governments can raise the minimum wages so that they are genuine living wages that help meet the needs of workers and their families. These rights are universal, and, in a global economic system, these protections should expand beyond borders. Workers across a global value chain need to be protected against labor abuses. And governments need to monitor and enforce those laws. Without enforcement, the best laws won’t have much impact. Governments also should leverage resources to invest in people and communities. This includes increasing spending on a range of social programs, like health care, education, job training, and access to credit. It also means improving transparency and oversight to root out corruption and wasteful practices that take resources away from the people who need it most.

A man washes clothes next to a mining road belonging to the La Société Minière de Boké (SMB) consortium.

It is critical for governments to include people’s voices in shaping these policies and the technologies they use to implement them. This is a necessary counterbalance to self-interested powers that seek to enrich themselves. For example, in the context of development projects, affected communities should be consulted to ensure they receive the promised benefits, and don’t end up losing more than they gain. In Guinea , we reported on bauxite mines that were funded both by Chinese investors and by the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. The mines were supposed to create jobs and make things better for communities, but instead they have threatened the livelihood of thousands of people by destroying ancestral farmland and damaging water sources. The companies involved claimed to have consulted communities, but in reality, communities have little choice but to allow mining to move forward on the companies’ terms. Communities should instead be able to participate in decisions about how their land is used and get meaningful benefit from mining and other development projects.

What if governments can’t afford to provide all this for their people? It’s a reality that governments don’t have infinite funds, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, when many are facing revenue crises. Yet when governments respect human rights, they make sure powerful people and companies don’t make it harder for people to be financially secure. This doesn’t require massive government spending.

A volunteer at a Trussell Trust food bank prepares food parcels from their stores of donated food, toiletries and other items. London, United Kingdom.

Also, there’s a lot governments can do to maximize the resources they have. This means eliminating corruption and self-dealing by politicians that can lead to misdirected or wasteful spending. Governments should prioritize the needs of the poorest, ensuring that everyone has the adequate support to access food, housing, water, education, and other essentials for a decent life. Governments should also aim to provide universal social protections, such as a welfare system, and should help people achieve greater economic security. For example, providing affordable internet access to low-income families could buffer them from future poverty, as does offering quality public education along with other continuing education courses designed to improve access to better jobs. All this would benefit society as a whole.

Also, governments should make sure they have the resources to fund programs, creating stable, long-term programs focused on people’s needs. Governments should also take steps to prevent tax evasion and explore progressive tax policies , which tax people with more assets at a higher rate than the poor, thereby easing the burden on the poor. How would you answer people who say it’s people’s own fault that they’re living in poverty?  Everyone is entitled to basic rights like food and housing – it is not a question of who is “deserving” or “undeserving.” There are undeniable systematic forces that make it much harder for some people to earn enough money to meet their basic needs or save enough money to protect them from ruin when they face unexpected expenses. This has contributed to the stark rise in inequality around the world. Over 70 percent of the world’s population live in countries that recently experienced growing inequality. There is no reason why a person should have to work multiple shifts or jobs to make ends meet. People should have agency over their lives and be able to shape their futures. We want to change the policies that deprive people of those choices and of the opportunities they need to create a better life.

*This interview has been edited and condensed. 

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How we fight inequality to end poverty and injustice

Fatoumata Tangara, 14, has been a peer educator for 2 years.

Fatoumata Tangara, 14, has been a peer educator for 2 years. She says it is important that young people talk to other young people, because “sometimes when we talk with adults, we can’t say everything.” She adds that parents also have to be sensitized for them to allow their girls to go and stay in school. Photo: Laeïla Adjovi/Oxfam

Today’s economic models have failed the world. Flawed and sexist, they have concentrated power in the hands of a few, at the expense of the world’s poorest and most marginalized. They have exacerbated a climate crisis that is destroying millions of lives and livelihoods. They have sustained multiple and interlinked forms of inequality that are the root cause of poverty and injustice. Across countries and regions, people are denied the ability to shape their future.

But inequality is not inevitable. The tide is turning. A better world is within our grasp. Where women and girls have agency and people are freed from the shackles of poverty. A world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

We are working across regions in 87 countries, with thousands of partners and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis. Because we want lasting solutions, we fight the inequalities that keep people locked in poverty and injustice, we tackle not the symptoms but the systems, and we campaign for genuine, durable change.

Valerie Mukangerero walks to her pineapple farm in Rwamurema village, eastern Rwanda. Credit: Aurelie Marrier d'Unienville/Oxfam

Valerie Mukangerero walks to her pineapple farm in Rwamurema village, eastern Rwanda. Credit: Aurelie Marrier d'Unienville/Oxfam

Our vision for a just and sustainable world

We believe all lives are equal. No-one should be discriminated against or live in poverty. We want a just and sustainable world in which everyone can safely speak truth to power, claim their human rights, and build a better future for themselves.

We offer direct support to people and communities living with poverty, above all in countries in the global South. We seek to add value to the work of our partners and of all those who challenge discrimination, exclusion and exploitation.

But for change to be sustainable, it must be systemic. To contribute to change that lasts, we mobilize to transform the systems, policies and practices that have the most significant impact on people’s lives.

We advocate for just economies that put people and the planet at the center.

A just economy is inclusive. It promotes equality, protects the planet, and ends poverty. It builds social cohesion and promotes the economic empowerment of women and marginalized groups. It supports the rights of all workers, offers social protection and ensures that livelihoods and planetary resources can be sustained.

We fight for gender justice and against any form of violence against women and girls.

In an increasingly unequal world, advancing gender equality is fundamental to tackling poverty and injustice. A just society is not possible unless women and girls have agency over their lives. It needs to challenge harmful social norms and belief systems that underpin gender and power relations, especially where they impact women living in poverty the most. To achieve this, it needs to expose the patriarchal practices that prevent women from realizing their rights.

We take action to stop the climate crisis.

The climate crisis is a man-made disaster that is already reversing progress made in the fight against poverty and inequality. It contributes to vulnerable communities becoming even more fragile and exacerbates the risk of conflict and disaster. To change its course, governments and corporations must stop destructive practices and instead invest in sustainable solutions. The voices of feminist organizations, youth, and indigenous peoples must be amplified in climate negotiations, and lead the transition towards greener and fairer economic solutions.

We demand accountable governance

International norms and multilateral frameworks are consistently undermined. A populist and anti-rights agenda is chipping away at the hard-won gains achieved by the worldwide movement for women’s rights, and in the fight against poverty. The demand for accountable and inclusive governance that protects human rights and our planet has never been higher. A just and sustainable future depends on safe and vibrant spaces that allow all people to hold the powerful to account.

Aisha is one of Docoloha's community health promoters. Together with other women, she trains the community on hygiene, water and waste management. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

Aisha is one of Docoloha's community health promoters, Somaliland. Together with other women, she trains the community on hygiene, water and waste management.

How we work is as important as what we work on

We are guided by our vision, mission and values, and the transformational change that we seek. We know that to meet the challenge of a complex and unpredictable future, we need to develop new skills, innovate and improve our ability to adapt rapidly to changing contexts.

The inequalities that drive poverty and injustice are complex and multi-dimensional. They are created and sustained by unjust, deeply entrenched and interacting systems such as patriarchy, sexism, caste and racism that can affect anyone, anywhere. We take a multi-dimensional approach which makes us and our impact distinctive.

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We apply a feminist lens to all our analysis and address gender justice and women’s rights across all our actions.

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We amplify the voices and actions of people that experience poverty and injustice and work with those who fight for their causes.

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We think and act locally and globally . We build coalitions within and between regions and from the local to the global level.

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We work with communities before, during and after crises to build their resilience, save lives, and together address the root causes of conflict and disaster.

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We leverage the power and influence of digital technology , expanding digital spaces and seizing the potential they offer to social justice activists.

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We mobilize to transform the systems that perpetuate poverty and injustice. We innovate, identify and scale-up lasting solutions that are grounded in evidence experience.

We are part of a global movement for social justice

Change at scale is possible when we act in solidarity with, and amplify, the voices of people experiencing poverty, injustice, exclusion and crisis.

Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do. Across the world, where we share vision and values, we partner with activists, communities, social movements and civil society. We seek new ways to connect with young people and women in all their diversity and aspire to become a partner of choice for them. We know that it is our supporters, volunteers, partners, staff and donors who make it possible for us to make a difference.

Together, we generate energy for transformative change. We campaign to influence local and national governments, corporate actors, and the institutions whose decisions, policies, and practices can put an end to inequality, poverty and injustice.

Female construction worker Kaile (20yrs) helps build a house in Kharanitaar village, Nuwakot district, Nepal

Our ambition for 2030

The years to 2030 will be a time of rapid and unpredictable change, and we do not know how these complex realities will play out. Our new global strategy sets out our commitment, over the next decade, to a just and sustainable future. It is made more urgent in a world further torn apart by coronavirus and offers a framework and strategic direction that remain as relevant as ever.  

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Ending Poverty

While pre-pandemic global poverty rates had been cut by more than half since 2000, the COVID-19 pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people,  or 8% of the total human population. In April 2020, the United Nations issued a framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19  and created the Secretary-General's UN COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund . Before the pandemic, significant progress had been made in alleviating poverty in many countries within Eastern and Southeastern Asia, but up to 42 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa continued to live below the poverty line.

What is Poverty?

Poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. In 2015, more than 736 million people lived below the international poverty line. Around 10 per cent of the world population (pre-pandemic) was living in extreme poverty and struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. There were 122 women aged 25 to 34 living in poverty for every 100 men of the same age group, and more than 160 million children were at risk of continuing to live in extreme poverty by 2030.

Poverty facts and figures

  • According to the most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population or 734 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day.
  • Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are expected to see the largest increases in extreme poverty, with an additional 32 million and 26 million people, respectively, living below the international poverty line as a result of the pandemic.
  • The share of the world’s workers living in extreme poverty fell by half over the last decade: from 14.3 per cent in 2010 to 7.1 per cent in 2019.
  • Even before COVID-19, baseline projections suggested that 6 per cent of the global population would still be living in extreme poverty in 2030, missing the target of ending poverty. The fallout from the pandemic threatens to push over 70 million people into extreme poverty.
  • One out of five children live in extreme poverty, and the negative effects of poverty and deprivation in the early years have ramifications that can last a lifetime.
  • In 2016, 55 per cent of the world’s population – about 4 billion people – did not benefit from any form of social protection.

Poverty and the Sustainable Development Goals

Ending poverty in all its forms is the first of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

The SDGs’ main reference to combatting poverty is made in  target 1.A : “Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions.”

The SDGs also aim to create sound policy frameworks at national and regional levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies to ensure that by 2030 all men and women have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.

Measuring Poverty

There has been marked progress in reducing poverty over the past decades. According to the most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 per cent of the world’s population lived at or below $1.90 a day. That’s down from 16 per cent in 2010 and 36 per cent in 1990. This means that ending extreme poverty is within our reach. However, the decline has slowed. In April 2013, the World Bank set a new goal to end extreme poverty in a generation. The new target is to have no more than 3 per cent of the world’s population living on just $1.90 a day by 2030. By measuring poverty we learn which poverty reduction strategies work, and which ones do not. Poverty measurement also helps developing countries gauge program effectiveness and guide their development strategy in a rapidly changing economic environment.

Global Action

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises to leave no one behind and to reach those furthest behind first. Meeting this ambitious development agenda requires visionary policies for sustainable, inclusive, sustained and equitable economic growth, supported by full employment and decent work for all, social integration, declining inequality, rising productivity and a favorable environment. In the 2030 Agenda, Goal 1 recognizes that ending poverty in all its forms everywhere is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

While progress in eradicating extreme poverty has been incremental and widespread, the persistence of poverty, including extreme poverty remains a major concern in Africa, the least developed countries, small island developing States, in some middle-income countries, and countries in situations of conflict and post-conflict countries. In light of these concerns, the General Assembly, at its seventy-second session, decided to proclaim the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty  (2018–2027). The objective of the Third Decade is to maintain the momentum generated by the implementation of the  Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty  (2008-2017) towards poverty eradication. Further, the 3rd Decade is also expected to support, in an efficient and coordinated manner, the internationally agreed development goals related to poverty eradication, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

In 1995, the  World Summit for Social Development  held in Copenhagen, identified three core issues: poverty eradication, employment generation and social integration, in contributing to the creation of an international community that enables the building of secure, just, free and harmonious societies offering opportunities and higher standards of living for all.

Within the  United Nations system , the  Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)  of the  Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)  acts as Focal Point for the United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty and undertakes activities that assist and facilitate governments in more effective implementation of the commitments and policies adopted in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the further initiatives on Social Development adopted at the 24th Special session of the General Assembly.

  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Through  resolution 47/196  adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the  International Day for the Eradication of Poverty .

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed on a commemorative stone unveiled that day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor.

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  • A/69/700 - The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet [Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish]
  • 2017 HLFP Thematic Review of SDG 1: End Poverty in All its Forms Everywhere

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  • improving access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial opportunities and productive resources;
  • providing universal access to basic social services;
  • empowering people living in poverty and their organizations;
  • addressing the disproportionate impact of poverty on women;
  • working with interested donors and recipients to allocate increased shares of ODA to poverty eradication; and
  • intensifying international cooperation for poverty eradication.

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One reason anti-poverty policy has not worked better than it has is because we went into it naively, without enough of an understanding of what makes it hard. This essay addresses what I have learnt about this question from my own research, most of which, is based in India.

Finding the poor

Who are the poor.

Suppose someone wants to help the poor. How would he find them? A part of the problem is inevitable: “poor” is an invented category, like tall or beautiful. While we often have a sense of what we mean when we talk about the poor, getting to an operational definition of poverty requires making many rather arbitrary choices. For example, even if we were prepared to bite the bullet and say that people who are below a certain level (“the poverty line”) are the poor and the rest are not, we would not know how to set that critical level. For one, the level of what? Income, consumption, and wealth are the obvious candidates, but one could no doubt think of others. Of these income might seem the most natural, till one starts worrying about the challenges of measuring incomes: after all, incomes vary a lot, especially for the poor who tend not to have salaried jobs, and some of that day-to-day or month-to-month variation is expected or even deliberate (think of the vendor who takes a day off each week) and does not affect what they can buy or consume (because they spend out of their savings or borrow). In other words we run the danger of calling the vendor poor because we measured his income on his off day.

Averaging over longer periods of time obviously helps us here, but creates other problems. People are not very good at remembering what happened several weeks or months ago, especially if there is a lot of underlying variation. Moreover, it turns out people have a very hard time figuring out what their own incomes are (unless they are salary earners, and even then they may not know value of the benefits that come with the job). This is in part because they have both inflows and outflows (i.e. earnings as well as costs), and these do not happen at the same time (so you have to figure out how to make them comparable).

For these reasons many economists favor using measures of consumption, which clearly varies a lot less than income (reflecting people’s inclination to avoid large swings in their consumption) and therefore is closely related to average income over the period. This comes with its own limitations: we systematically underestimate the well-being of those who are saving a lot compared to those who do not save, even though the latter might have a better future facing them. Dealing with health spending poses yet another problem: should we exclude health expenditures when we calculate consumption on the grounds that this is a compulsion and not a choice, or include it because it shows that this family is able to deal with its health problems (whereas an even poorer family might have to resign itself to endure the ill-health).

Measuring consumption, though probably easier than measuring income (mainly because people tend to have relatively stable consumption patterns and therefore you get a reasonable idea by asking them how they spent money over the recent past) is also far from straightforward. For one it can be extremely time consuming: people have a hard time recalling what they consumed in the last week unless you prompt them by specifically going through the entire list of goods they could have consumed and asking them about each of them separately. Consumption decisions are also “gendered”: Men usually know more about how much they spent on fixing up the house, while women are often much better informed about the price of onions. As a result you may need to poll more than one person in each household to get an accurate picture of its consumption spending.

The practice of identification

Given how time-consuming and painstaking one needs to be to do either income or consumption measurement right, it is perhaps no surprise that most governments in developing countries take a more rough and ready approach to the problem of identifying the poor. Instead of looking for direct measures of consumption or income, they typically use what are called proxy means tests. In a proxy means test, each family gets scored based on a relatively small number of what are believed to be good proxies for the family’s standard of living. The identification of the BPL (Below Poverty Line) population in India, for example, is based on a scoring rule which puts some weight on measures of family wealth (ownership of land, kind of house, whether the house has indoor plumbing, etc.), some direct measures of well-being (such as whether you have two square meals a day), some measures of earning capacity (education of the adults, type of job they hold, etc.) and some indices as to what one might call behavioral responses to poverty (whether children are in school, working, etc.). Mexico’s flagship welfare program, now called Oportunidades, uses a very similar index to identify potential beneficiaries: the index they use is a weighted mean of the number of people per room in a household, the age of the household head, the dependency ratio, the level of schooling and occupation of the household head, the number of children ages 5–15 not attending school, the number of children under 12 years, and some simple binary variables characterizing the housing and asset holdings of the household. Indonesia’s various targeted public assistance programs use a similar, though somewhat more sophisticated rule.

The advantage of a rule like this is that the necessary data could be collected in half an hour or less; the disadvantage is that it may not always get us where we would like to be. Using data from Indonesia, Nepal, and Pakistan that has information about both consumption and assets, Filmer and Pritchett (2001) show that between 60–65% of those in the bottom 40% of the distribution based on consumption were in the bottom 40% based on asset ownership. In other words, something like 35–40% of the poor might be misclassified but probably less, since there is no reason to assume that the consumption always gets it right.

There is however another concern. Using specific forms of wealth as markers has the advantage of being easy to measure but the disadvantage of being easy to manipulate: if I think that building another room in my house will reduce my chances of a hand-out from the government I might choose to put my savings into gold. This becomes an even bigger concern when we base the choice on whether your child goes to school. Parents who are already unconvinced of the benefits of education (more on that later) may not hesitate too much before withdrawing their child from school in order to secure their position on the public assistance list.

The implementation challenge

Any method for identifying the poor is of course only as good as the people using it will allow it to be. As we already noted identifying the poor is hard work, even with simplified criteria and it is not clear that those responsible have a strong reason to get it right. Indeed it is not hard to imagine that the person who decides whether you get to be on the public assistance list or not might want to charge something for that favor, and if you are really poor and cannot afford the price, he may prefer to hand your card to someone, less deserving, who can. There is also a natural tendency to be generous in interpreting the rules: why deprive somebody just because he fails to meet the criteria, when there is very little risk that anyone will complain if you do.

Consistent with this, a recent study in India that compares the number of poor people in the country with the number of BPL cards issued concluded that there were 23 million extra BPL cardholders (NCAER 2007, reported in Times of India 12/22/07). Another study, conducted by the international NGO Transparency International in partnership with the Center for Media Studies in India focused more directly on mistargeting. They asked a random set of households both questions about their economic status and also whether they have a BPL card (TI-CMS 2007). The study concluded that about 2/3rds of households that were actually BPL had BPL cards, which is not too bad given that the measure of economic status they used was relatively crude and they still out-performed the Filmer-Pritchett study of targeting using wealth data, mentioned above. Of course there are also inclusion errors (the 23 million extra cards) but this could just reflect the fact that it is hard and perhaps pointless to make fine distinctions within a group that is generally poor.

However a more detailed study from Karnataka resists this more benign interpretation. In Atanassova, Bertrand, and Mullainathan (2007), the authors survey 21 households in each of 173 villages in the Raichur district in the state of Karnataka. In each of these households they collect the data used for the BPL classification by the government and based on that data they can construct their own BPL list. They find that while 57% of households in the control villages have a BPL card, only 22% of the households are actually eligible. Moreover, 48% of households are misclassified. The inclusion error, i.e. ineligible households who have a card, is 41% and the exclusion error, i.e. households who are eligible for BPL but don’t have it, is close to 7%. This means that about one third of the eligible households don’t have a BPL card, while about half of the ineligible households do have a BPL card. More worryingly, when they use income as a proxy for wealth, the poorest among all ineligible households are not the ones who have a BPL card. In particular those who are just above the eligibility cutoff for BPL, i.e. those with annual incomes between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 20,000, are less likely to be included than those whose incomes are between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,800 and 42% of the wealthiest people (with income above Rs. 38,000) have a BPL card. When they investigate the reasons for the inclusion of ineligible households, the fact of being socially connected to village officials turns out to be a good predictor.

A more participatory approach

The fact that the identification process can get captured by the village elite may be one reason why others have suggested a very different approach: why not make use of the fact that small communities (like villages) can probably identify those among them that are really poor? And while individual villagers might have reason to slant their information in specific ways, this ought to be mitigated if we brought together a large enough group of them.

Bandhan, one of India’s largest Micro Finance Institutions, made use of this approach to identify beneficiaries for their Ultra-poor program. Under this program, families that were identified as being too poor to be able to brought under the microcredit umbrella were offered the “gift” of an asset (which could be a cow, a few goats, or a threshing machine) and some short term income assistance (for the period before the asset starts paying off) with the hope that this might permanently rescue them from dire poverty and put them in the mainstream of the village poor population. Following the methodology developed by the Bangladeshi NGO BRAC, which originally came up with this program, for identifying the ultra-poor, Bandhan carried out Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) in the village (2). In the PRA, a minimum of twelve villagers ideally drawn from various sections of village society sit together and come up with a map of the village where each household is assigned a location. Then they classify the households into six groups, from the poorest to the richest. Following the PRA, Bandhan selects about 30 households from the set of lowest ranked households.

Bandhan’s process does not stop here. They then collect asset and other information about these 30 households and eventually 10 are picked to be part of the Ultra-poor program. We were however interested in the effectiveness of the PRA as a way to target the very poor and in some ways the results bear out the validity of this approach (Banerjee, Chattopadhyay, Duflo, and Shapiro 2008). Those who were assigned to the bottom two categories in the PRA have about 0.13 acres less land than the rest of the surveyed population which might not seem much until we consider the fact that the average land holding in this population is actually 0.11 acres. Similarly while 34% of the surveyed villagers report not always getting a square meal, that fraction is another 17 percentage points (i.e. 50%) higher among the poorest two groups in the PRA. Such households are also less likely to have much schooling and more likely to have a child out of school or a disabled family number.

The one place where the PRA does not help is in identifying those who are consumption poor, but then we also found that in these villages possession of a BPL card is uncorrelated with consumption. And unlike the BPL card, the PRA does predict being land scarce and not being able to get two square meals.

Villagers therefore do have information that they are able and willing to use in the public interest: in particular their information might make it possible to make distinctions within the population of the poor.

Unfortunately, at least in these villages, the PRA completely missed a quarter of those who showed up in our survey—their names never came up. And since our survey deliberately focused on the poor, it is not because these people were irrelevant to the question at hand. Basically it seems that even in a village of a few hundred people, “out of sight” might be “out of mind.” The PRA classifies those it finds relatively well, but what about those it leaves out?

Another concern with the PRA approach is that it might work better as a way to identify the ultra-poor, than as a way to identify the average poor person. Most people probably feel that they are superior to the ultra-poor, and therefore a certain noblesse oblige takes over when they are thinking in terms of helping those unfortunate people. When it is the average poor person who is being identified, most villagers probably feel that they are just as deserving as anybody else, which is likely to lead to disagreements and conflict.

Nonetheless the results from this very small pilot were promising enough to encourage us to investigate this issue further. Perhaps one should combine the two approaches: begin by coming up with a list of the potentially poor based on wealth (or other) data and then have the village community edit the list (to reduce the risk of people being forgotten) based on their superior information. One could imagine many other hybrids as well. In some ongoing research, Rema Hanna, Ben Olken, Julia Tobias, and myself from MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, along with the Indonesian government and Vivi, Alatas and her team from the World Bank in Jakarta, have been designing experiments to rigorously compare the efficacy of the survey and PRA methodologies for identifying the poor, and to study some of these hybrids.

Self-targeting

The alternative to targeting is self-targeting. The idea of self-targeting is of course not new. The notorious Victorian poorhouses, which Scrooge commended and about which the compassionate gentleman in A Christmas Carol said “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die,” were exactly that: a place so miserable that only those who are so desperately poor that they had no recourse would want to go there. India’s recently introduced National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), under which every rural household is entitled to 100 days of unskilled public employment at the minimum wage on demand (i.e. within 15 days of asking for employment) in their village is probably the biggest single effort in this direction.

The theory behind such schemes is well-known: it does not need to be targeted, because only those who have no better alternatives would want the kind of work (digging ditches, carrying bricks) that it offers. The fact that it is work on demand also means that you don’t need anyone’s sanction to seek work. It also has the advantage of flexibility: a lot of extreme poverty is temporary and/or unpredictable. For example, when the income earner in your family is unexpectedly taken ill, it might take a long time to get your family reclassified as BPL, but the right to work is designed to be always there for the asking.

The disadvantages are also clear: what happens if there is no one in your family who is fit enough to do manual labor? Moreover, labor is a social resource: making people dig ditches in order to prove they are poor, is of course wasteful unless you want the ditch dug. If you never wanted the ditch and had some way of knowing who the poor were, you could have given them the money and let them do something productive with their time. A significant part of the original NREGS documents was therefore devoted to spelling out what the village needs to do to make sure that the labor is used to create useful (public) assets for the village.

Corruption is also a challenge. This is of course always an issue, but the fact that the NREGS is supposed to be driven and therefore there is no fixed budget, must make it particularly tempting to throw in a few extra names. This is the problem of fake muster rolls (a muster roll is where NREGS transactions are recorded) that critics of the program have talked about. For this reason, the program requires that all muster rolls be displayed in public and supporters of the program put a lot of emphasis on what are called social audits. During these audits, concerned volunteers try to find the people named in the muster rolls and ask them if they received the claim payments.

These audits do reveal a fair amount of corruption in the implementation of the NREGS. In the state of Jharkhand a social audit of five randomly chosen villages carried out by researchers from Allahabad University found that about one third of the money was lost (Dreze, Khera, and Siddhartha 2008). More frighteningly, one of the activists involved in a social audit somewhere in Jharkhand was murdered, and the presumption is it had something to do with what the audit had unearthed. On the other hand, in Chattisgarh an audit of nine randomly chosen projects suggest that about 95% of the claimed wage payments were actually made.

While 5% seems good and one third less so, it is not clear what the benchmark ought to be. This is also the problem with the other criticism one hears; that the program is not doing enough. The Comptroller and Accounts General of India, a government organization charged with the oversight of public programs, reported that 3.2% of those who had registered themselves for the program had actually worked for the full allowed 100 days and that, on average, a registered family got less 20 days of employment. In response the Ministry of Rural Development, which runs the program, pointed out that among the families that actually participated in the program (i.e. those who actually worked) the average number of days of employment was closer to 40 and 10% worked for all 100 days.

But how does one tell whether 40 days (or 10%) is too many or too few? If no one actually ends up taking these jobs, but the presence of NREGA employment at minimum wages pushes up earnings in the private sector and everyone still continues to work there, we would presumably call the program a success. We would also think it a success if almost no one takes the jobs, but the assurance that a job would be available if need be makes the populace less worried and/or more willing to take profitable risks. By contrast, if everyone wants an NREGA job, but only 50% get employment for 100 days a year, we would presumably be quite disappointed. The CAG report mentioned above, suggests that there is at least some unmet demand, and blames the fact that the program is understaffed, but we do not know how much.

In the survey mentioned above that we carried out in the West, we also found that at least in the villages that were part of our study the possession of a job card (which is what you get by registering for the program) does not predict being poor. Does that mean this program is seriously off-target, or is it that everyone wants to get a job card in order to be safe, but they actually plan to use it only if they run out of alternatives?

Most importantly, even if the targeting is reasonably good and the leakages are no worse than in other programs, how do we know that it was worth the hoops that people had to jump though in order to get the money? In other words, unless we are reasonably confident that the assets built by using program labor were worth the time and effort that went into them, how can we be sure that it made sense to go through all that to get better targeting?

Most of this could have been answered if the program had been subject to a rigorous evaluation (combined with a detailed survey of the various groups that end up not participating in the NRGS), but the current decision to extend it to the whole country means that there will not be such evaluation in India (3). The question of whether self-targeting is worth the trouble remains an open question.

The performance of targeted programs

The government of India’s largest targeted program is the Targeted Public Distribution Scheme under which BPL households are allowed to buy subsidized food-grains and other eatables from what is called a fair price shop in the village, which in turn gets supplies from the nearby government warehouse. This is the program that the government’s own Finance Minister recently described in the following terms: “About 58 per cent of subsidized grains do not reach the target group, of which a little over 36 per cent is siphoned off the supply chain. I ask you, respectfully, do not the poor of India deserve a better PDS? How can we sit back and watch helplessly the poor being robbed of their meager entitlements?”

What is striking about the numbers he quotes (from the government’s own Programme Evaluation Organization’s recent report) is that the biggest source of leakage is not the mistargeting of BPL cards, discussed above; it is the direct theft of the grains along the way. Of this 36%, 20% is “lost” in transit, while the other 16% is distributed against “ghost” BPL cards (i.e. cards issued to people who don’t exist).

The report also gives a measure of what it calls “exclusion error.” According to its numbers only 57% of the BPL households are served by the TPDS. In other words, one cannot even argue that the massive leakages are the cost of reaching all the poor people.

While, as discussed above, targeting is problematic, it is hard to imagine that the government could not do more to prevent the theft if there was the political will. Indeed we do see that in at least two Indian states, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, theft is less than 20%.

But if lack of political will is a big part of the problem and targeting is as inefficient as it seems to be, there may be a case for giving up on targeting. This would both eliminate exclusion error and bring the non-poor, with their greater influence on the political system, into the ambit of the program.

Helping them to help themselves

In the conventional view the government does this primarily by helping the children of the poor grow up with the health and education that would enable them to be full participants in the economy. It might also provide healthcare for adults as a way to insure them against things that are largely out of their control.

India has, by a wide margin, the largest number of wasted and stunted children in the world. According to the recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 48% of children are stunted and 43% are wasted, which means that India, a much richer country, has roughly twice the stunting and wasting rates as sub-Saharan Africa.

However, while malnutrition is clearly a huge problem in India, it is not clear to what extent it is a matter of access to food rather than nutritional practices. The shocking levels of stunting and wasting rates we report above turn out to correspond to the average for the middle category among the five wealth categories reported in the NFHS. It is hard to imagine that this group cannot afford the levels of nutrition that children must be getting in an average family in an average country in sub-Saharan Africa.

Moreover, it is not obvious that the TPDS, as currently designed, does very much to fix problems of malnutrition. In part it is just an income transfer and most of the evidence suggests that extra money does not turn into very much extra nutrition (Strauss and Thomas 1998). The fact the extra income comes in the form of extra food might help, but only if the 20kg. of grain that a family gets from the TPDS is more than what it would have bought in any case, which, from all accounts, seems implausible.

Given this and the rather disastrous performance of the TPDS, it might make sense to entirely rethink the idea of providing food subsidies to people. Why not give people money rather than food and thereby avoid all the problems that come from the fair price shops? It is true that the price of food varies, but the amount of money could be tied to the consumer price index and in any case there is a strong suspicion that, under the current system, when the market price goes up relative to the TPDS price, leakages increase and the poor end up with less.

There is of course still the challenge of how to make sure the cash actually reaches those who it’s meant for, but this is where information technology can help us. South Africa pioneered the technology of using ATM machines that can recognize fingerprints to deliver pensions and something similar might very well work in India. Certainly it seems worth an experiment or two.

However it is not clear that a cash transfer program, however well implemented, will do much for the problem of malnutrition. As pointed by recently by Deaton and Dreze (2008), the substantial increase in the incomes of the poor between 1983 and 2004 did not lead to a sharp increase in calorie or protein consumption, even in the group that lives on a low 1,600 calories a day. Both calorie and protein consumption went down for all the other (less-poor) groups.

This raises the concern that the poor may be under-investing in nutrition, either because they do not recognize its value or because they do not want to be left out entirely from the consumer paradise that middle-class India is becoming (4). In either case, it suggests that informing and influencing people’s consumption choices may be an important part of nutrition policy. This is reinforced by other evidence. For example, exclusive breastfeeding till the age of six months is one simple and widely recommended way to fight malnutrition and many childhood diseases. According to the NFHS, the average duration of exclusive breast-feeding is only two months. It is also recommended that breastfeeding be started right after childbirth, so that the child does not miss out on the colostrum, which contains many valuable nutrients. Only a quarter of the mothers in NFHS say that they started breastfeeding within an hour of child birth.

The challenge here is to change behavior, including behaviors that may be deeply embedded in tradition. The Government of India’s current idea is that this will be the responsibility of a ASHA Sahayogini, a local woman with some schooling who will given 23 days of training and a stipend of about $25 a month. It is not entirely clear that the kind of people who will take this job will have the energy, the knowhow, or the charisma to the point of being able to persuade other women to change age-old practices. A credible evaluation of the impact of this program is however not on the horizon as far as we know.

The poor performance of the Indian primary education sector has been in the news in recent years thanks to the Annual Survey of Education Reports brought out by the prominent educational NGO Pratham. The basic finding from these reports is well-known: 42% of fifth graders in India cannot read at second grade level, and 68% cannot do subtractions involving two digit numbers.

Yet while there are examples of schools where more than hundred children crowd into a single classroom, the Indian education sector is not underfunded by the standards of comparable countries. India spent 3.7% of its GDP on education in 2005, which is somewhat below the average for lower middle income countries (4.3%) but higher than the average for East Asia and the Pacific (2.9%) (World Bank 2007). According to a recent paper by Murgai and Pritchett (2007), government teachers in India are a paid more than other people with similar qualifications. Student to teacher ratios are high but below 40, the cut off that is used in Israel (a much richer country) for the maximum acceptable class size.

The problem, at least in part, seems to lie in the quality of teaching. According to the World Absenteeism Survey (Chaudhury et al. 2003), which sent surveyors to schools at random times to measure teacher presence, 25% of teachers are missing on any given day. Moreover, conditional on being present, they spend only 45% of their supposed teaching time in the classroom (5).

However what is less emphasized, but equally striking, are child absence rates, which are comparable or higher than teacher absence rates. Given this, one might wonder if the teachers are not simply responding to the general climate of indifference they find among their pupils. Perhaps, at the margin, a few more days of attendance by teachers will not do much for child performance. A recent randomized experiment reported in Duflo, Hanna, and Ryan (2007) tests this hypothesis. Seva Mandir, a prominent NGO in the state of Rajasthan, was facing teacher absence rates of 40% in the single-teacher schools it ran in some of the more remote corners of the state. Under encouragement from Duflo they started monitoring the teacher’s presence using a camera and paid the teacher based on the number of days present. It was introduced in a random set of schools, so that the impact could be evaluated.

Many people in the Seva Mandir community felt that while this might make teachers come to school more, it will not affect learning. In fact it raised test scores by a not inconsiderable 0.17 standard deviations, proving that if teachers put in more effort children do benefit.

The fact that better incentives for teachers can lead to better student results was also the conclusion of Muralidharan and Sundararaman (2006). They studied an experiment in Andhra Pradesh where government school teachers were promised a reward based on the improvement in the performance of their students and found a significant impact on test scores, including fields where the results did not count towards the incentive.

However the affect of incentives was, once again, not huge—0.15 standard deviation. Clearly a lot more would be needed to transform India’s faltering education sector. How are we to generate the incentives needed for that to happen?

One answer, which was at the heart of Indian government’s last major attempt to reform primary education—the Sarva Shiksha Aviyan (or SSA)—is that the community has to play a much more active role in demanding education from the system. However in a survey of 280 villages in Jaunpur district in the Indian state of UP, revealed that at least four years after the launching of the SSA 92% of parents did not seem to know about Village Education Committees, which is the main channel through which they can get involved in improving the local school and access SSA funds, while only 2% could name its members (Banerjee et al. 2006). At that time we had speculated that this could be because no one had taken the trouble to inform them about the VEC or the SSA. We therefore carried out a field experiment in the district aimed at informing and mobilizing parents around the state of education in their village and the possibilities opened up by SSA (6). In this experiment volunteers from Pratham spent a day and a half in each village, holding numerous small and large meetings where they informed parents about their rights, including the right to complain about teachers who do not attend and the right to hire extra teaching assistants (shikshakarmis) for their overcrowded schools. They also told them about the (poor) performance of the children in the village and taught them how to test their child’s reading skills.

None of this had any effect on any parent outcome except that a statistically significant but minuscule 2.6% more parents now knew about the VEC: there was no increase in the number of complaints, no additional visits to the school, no extra effort put into hiring teaching assistants. And not surprisingly, given that, it had absolutely no effect on test scores.

What we cannot yet tell is whether this indifference stems from a belief that the educational route to prosperity does not work for people like them (India, after all, has a long history of believing education is only for certain elite castes). Or is it that they believe that teachers are beyond their reach, politically and socially, and therefore are convinced that trying to make them change their ways is not really an option for people like them. However there is some recent evidence suggesting that it might be a bit of both: Jensen (2007) carried out an experiment in the Dominican Republic where he told poor parents about the returns of education, and found that their children do work harder in school when this happens. On the other hand, the only successful intervention—our UP study—was the one where trainers from Pratham trained village volunteers how to teach. One or more classes were started in every treatment village, children came and test scores increased substantially. The success of this experiment and the failure of the other interventions (the ones requiring some degree of social action) suggest that parents do care about education but shy away from confronting the teacher.

In either case it is hard to be confident that parental activism is going to solve the lack of incentives, at least in the near future. The alternative is to rely on market solutions, i.e. some kind of a program where parents are given publicly financed vouchers that will pay private school fees for their children. The usual arguments against vouchers seem relatively uncompelling in the Indian context: will it generate more segregation and inequality in the kinds of education children get? Perhaps, but given that the rural elite has already exited the public system in many areas, it is at least as plausible that it would reduce inequality, at least as long as the vouchers are set up in such a way that they cannot be used to subsidize sending children to really elite schools. Should one be concerned about parents colluding with school management to cash in their vouchers instead of sending their children to school? Unlikely, we think, now that parents care enough about education to reach nearly 100% school participation rates.

Moreover the veritable explosion of private schooling among relatively poor families in rural India in the last few years means that in many villages there are multiple private schools competing for students. According to ASER (2007) 19.3% of all children age 6–14 in rural India go to private school. Muralidharan (2006) reports on a nationally representative survey of rural private primary schools in India and observes that 50% of the schools in the 2003 survey were founded in the previous five years.

Muralidharan also observes that these schools are cheap (the median monthly fee is less than $2 at current exchange rates) despite the fact that the teachers in these schools are more likely to have college degrees and that they have a student-teacher ratio that is slightly more than half that found in public schools. This is because private school teachers are paid between 10–20% of what public teachers are paid. Andrabi, Khwaja, and Das (2003) who studied a very similar phenomenon in the province of Punjab in Pakistan, argue that the gap in performance between private and public schools is too large to be explained by plausible selection arguments: i.e. private schools are simply cheaper and better.

However we clearly need much more compelling evidence before such a radical shift would be warranted. Karthik Muralidharan and Michael Kremer are currently carrying out a randomized evaluation of school vouchers in the state of Andhra Pradesh; hopefully a number of other upcoming voucher programs in other states will also be evaluated. The challenge for all these evaluations is how to deal with the fact that supply of private schools will need to adjust to the expansion of demand that will happen when vouchers are universalized, but does not happen under experimental conditions. The fear is that fees will go up sharply as schools compete for teachers. In order to be able to answer this question, Muralidharan and Kremer, randomize both across and within villages. If the village is the relevant market for teachers, then the village level experiment will tell us about the impact on school fees and the supply of schools. If however teachers are willing to change villages in order to find work, as seems likely, this will not give us the complete answer and further research would be needed (7). In the meanwhile, the education sector is clearly drifting.

Any problem that the education sector has, the healthcare sector shares in abundance. The 40% absentee rates for the Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), the lowest level health practitioner in India’s multi-tiered healthcare system, are substantially higher than that of teachers (Chaudhury et al. 2003). When a number of health sub-centers (where these nurses are based) were randomly chosen for a program of incentives based on attendance, the nurses and their immediate bosses colluded to completely undermine the incentives: nurse attendance after the experiment was actually lower than before (Banerjee, Duflo, and Glennerster 2008).

Even more worrying, though perhaps unsurprising given the absentee rates, is the fact that even very poor people have mostly stopped making use of these nurses. In the rural Udaipur district, where per capita daily expenditure for the average person is no more than a dollar a day, Banerjee, Deaton, and Duflo (2004) found that less than a quarter of visits to healthcare providers were to government facilities. Nearly 60% of all visits were to private practitioners and the rest were to traditional healers. This is despite the fact that private “doctors” are further away, more expensive, and less likely to have any medical qualifications.

When we asked potential patients why this is so, they cited quality of treatment. We know that this quality is often poor. We already talked about the very high rates of absenteeism. Das and Hammer (2007), based on a survey of public and private doctors in urban Delhi, make the point that public doctors who deal with poorer patients more often than not prescribe medicine without ever touching the patient. But a part of what patients call quality is also what the government providers complain about—they say that private providers overuse injections, in particular injected antibiotics and steroids, and this is seen by the populace as good treatment. Our data does provide some support for this view. A remarkable 60% of all visits to private practitioners involve an injection being given, though we do not have the data to say whether these are actually dangerous for the patients. The consensus view among experts is that there is substantial over-medication.

A related concern is that the movement towards private healthcare means that people are no longer talking to people whose job it is to educate them in public health practices (rather than sell them a treatment). For example, in rural Udaipur district less than 5% of children are fully immunized according our data (Banerjee et al. 2008) and it is not clear that any of the private health providers are going to do anything about it.

More generally, what makes healthcare for the poor particularly hard is that the market solutions are not necessarily particularly attractive, precisely because of the tendency to underestimate the cheap but valuable preventive aspects of medicine, relative to expensive and potentially harmful curative procedures. Subsidized health insurance is the equivalent of vouchers for the case of healthcare, and there are a number of on-going experiments in India including one that we are evaluating. However almost all of these insurance policies only pay for inpatient services for the simple reason that they are much easier to verify. This means that check-ups, tests, and all other forms of preventive medicine are expenses carried by the individual and that the insurance system actually discourages.

At this point there are some doubts about whether even this very simple product can be made economically viable. A product that covers more outpatient services is likely to be much more costly because the utilization of these services is far harder to monitor, and the government may have to get involved. One advantage of a subsidized program is that it could be used as hook to get people more involved in early detection and prevention, as in order to get the insurance at a subsidized rate the individual would need to meet certain requirements.

That such incentives can work well is demonstrated by a recent experimental study where women were offered a kilo of lentils whenever they got their children immunized. This more than doubled the number of children who are fully immunized (Banerjee et al. 2008).

In some ways government policy in India is moving in this direction. There is now a scheme that gives financial incentives for women who give birth in hospital and as part of the scheme the woman is required to make a certain number of antenatal and postnatal visits to the clinic. While enforcement of these new rules seems relatively lax at this point, it has the potential to make a substantial contribution.

The way forward

The current trend in anti-poverty policy is a rather different approach to the idea that the poor need to take charge of their lives. Instead of thinking of the poor as workers who need to have the requisite skills, it thinks of them as potential entrepreneurs who need capital and property rights and the protection of the law: hence the emphasis, for example, on microcredit. It is not that investment in human capital is unimportant; it is more that the sponsors of this view are skeptical of the government’s ability to deliver human capital and would rather see the poor earn extra income to pay for the human capital they want for their children.

The fact that it is not easy to get the government to deliver is, of course, entirely consistent with the argument we are making. The question is whether we can be confident that where the government will not deliver, the poor will; that they can and will pull themselves up by their bootstraps, with a little help from micro-credit organizations.

As we have argued elsewhere at length (Banerjee and Duflo 2007, 2008) there is no empirical warrant for this view. The basic point is that the poor neither have the skills, nor the knowledge of markets, nor the understanding of technology, to compete effectively in the marketplace. They are also, even after they get their microcredit loans, limited by their capital to the most primitive technologies and most crowded occupations, and hugely vulnerable to all the risks of entrepreneurship. The businesses that they actually run bear the imprint of all these constraints. They are tiny (the median firm owned by the poor has no employee) and heavily concentrated in the few industries that can be entered with minimal specialized skills.

What is more, the poor themselves do not expect their businesses to transform their lives. If they did they would put more effort into growing these businesses. We argue that many could easily expand their businesses, make more money, and thereby slowly climb the ladder out of poverty; but they choose not to.

None of this is to deny that the poor are not resourceful or energetic; it is just that the playing field is so slanted entreat the point of entry that only those few with enormous resolve and/or talent can make it past the starting line. Nor is it to question that microcredit has probably made the lives of the poor more bearable and therefore deserves our support.

But in the end, the government must remain at the center of anti-poverty policy, because without some help and resources from the outside the poor face an utterly unfair challenge. It does not need to do all the things it currently does (badly) and it should certainly focus more on paying for things rather than making them. Income support and strategically targeted subsidies to key delivery agents (NGOs, Microfinance Institutions, private firms) can go a long way in making the lives of the poor better, without involving the government in delivery. But we should not forget that a very important part of what the government does are things that the market will not—behavior change, preventive healthcare, education for those who live in areas where there are no private schools, emergency relief, etc. Even in these cases, the government can work with implementing partners outside the government, as the example of BRAC in Bangladesh has shown, but realistically, the government will continue to be a major delivery agent in the economy. The challenge for those of us who are in what might be called the ideas sector is therefore to think of ways of redesigning what the government does to make it work better, both in terms of choosing between what it does and what it delegates, and in improving its effectiveness in what it must do.

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  • The case for this claim is made in Banerjee (2007).
  • Participatory Resource Appraisals (PRAs) are a standard technique for getting a group of villagers to map out their village together.
  • There is still value in trying to evaluate the impact of varying some of the program details before the whole thing gets etched in stone. Would there be more jobs created if, for example, instead of assuming that all program beneficiaries have to work for the community, some of them were sent off to work for private business, even though the government continues to back-stop their wage and make sure that no one earnes less than the minimum wage? Would there be more energy in the program if the local elites start to feel that they too have something to gain from it? Or would it somehow encourage the elite to try to “capture” the program?
  • These are not the only possible explanations—Deaton and Dreze (2008) suggest that it may reflect that there is less demand for hard physical labor.
  • This put India among the worst performers in the survey (only Uganda at 27% teacher absence rates did worse).
  • For the experiment see Banerjee, Banerji, Duflo, Glennerster, and Khemani (2008).
  • The answer may also depend on whether the scaled up voucher program will be accompanied by shutting down a large number of public schools, in which case a lot of teachers would be available to be hired.

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7 Ways You Can Help Fight Poverty in Your Community

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 7.8 million people have fallen into poverty—the biggest jump in a single year since the government began tracking poverty 60 years ago. It’s easy to think about poverty as a national crisis that is bigger than you, but there are actually lots of things you can do to influence this systemic problem right in your own community. CommonBond works to help fight poverty through housing in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Iowa, and we’ve outlined some examples of how you can help fight poverty in your community .

How to Help Poverty Issues in Your Community

1. challenge ideas and assumptions.

Whether you have preconceived notions about poverty within your community, or as a concept in general, it’s important to challenge those assumptions so you aren’t unintentionally spreading harmful biases. One common misconception, for example, is that people experiencing homelessness choose not to work. This misconception is incredibly harmful because it negates the many uncontrollable and systemic conditions that can cause housing instability or poverty. In reality, there are many factors people have to deal with that make it hard to find employment, including loss of affordable housing , inequitable access to training and tools, and mental illness.

If you recognize this myth, be sure to challenge it. Want to go a step further with how to help the poor and fight poverty in your community? Learn about the specific poverty issues your town or city faces; this will educate you on matters and enable you to apply context and critical thinking while pushing back against assumptions and myths.

2. Create awareness/get informed

Poverty is in every community, so it’s important to know where the issues lie within your own. Get informed about the resources that are already available and those that are still needed. There are local groups doing this work that could use your help—you can then do your part in getting the word out and listening to these community experts about where you can be helpful in fighting poverty in your community. A great resource in Minneapolis, for example, is the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map . This map shows a myriad of organizations and mutual aid efforts around the Twin Cities area that are accepting donations or other resources.

3.  Donate funds and time & find volunteer opportunities

One of the most straightforward ways to help fight poverty in your community is to donate funds to organizations whose mission it is to end these economic disparities. No amount of money is too small or too large. As these donations add up, organizations can put the funds toward fixing housing inequalities, education gaps, food insecurities and more.

Another helpful option is to p artner with local organizations that help the community by donating time. Whether it’s helping out in a food kitchen or working with children after school to get their homework done, there are ways that don’t require money that can still make an impact. We’ve created a volunteer list that you can join to support our work, whether you’re in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, or Iowa.

Fighting Poverty in Your Community is as Simple as Donating a Few Dollars.

Donate Today!      

4. Make kits or fundraise for those experiencing homelessness in your neighborhood

In addition to donating time, you can also reach out to local organizational leaders to see what specifically folks who are experiencing poverty in their communities need. To ensure your donations have the most impact, listen to these community experts. Be sure to donate items that are specifically being asked for, not just what you have in your pantry! Use that info to create meal kits or baskets full of food or house cleaning products that will keep people stocked up on essentials for a while, and give it to local organizations and community experts to distribute.

Another option is to hold fundraisers. How about fighting poverty in your community by throwing a pizza party where the proceeds go to local shelters or other organizations that provide critical services? Get bigger local businesses to donate services for a silent auction. Doing fundraisers like this can be a fun way to bring people together for an important cause.

5. Attend demonstrations or rallies to increase awareness

Another way to create and increase awareness and help fight poverty in your community is to attend events like demonstrations and rallies. These may be block parties or parades or any other kind of peaceful event that will grab the community’s attention and turn it toward fighting against systemic poverty. There are organizations that regularly hold events that both raise awareness, as well as stand in solidarity with those affected by poverty—and by joining their work, you may learn how to be a better advocate.

6. Create jobs

If you own a business or an organization in the community, look for areas you could use some help with. Many people living in poverty may not have had access to higher education or specialty certifications, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have skills to contribute. Identifying areas of opportunities within your business or organization, expanding your recruiting pool, and paying a living wage is one way to make a change to help neighbors living in poverty in your community.

DONATE TODAY!

7. Provide paid leave and paid sick days

If you’re a business owner within your community, offer paid leave and paid sick days. Although it’s an investment for you, taking a day off every now and then without pay can seriously hurt some of your employees, especially if they’re under the poverty line. Your employees are going to get sick from time to time—let them rest easy by offering paid sick leave. For staff who are earning under the area median income, consider offering stipends for childcare, or even consider an on-site childcare option to create an environment where working families don't have to choose between income and childcare.

CommonBond Can Help

Poverty affects more people than you think, and as you now know, there are many ways to help fight poverty in your community. Serving your community by donating time or money is a valuable way to get involved. Our team at CommonBond wants to help you in your fight, whether you’re in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, or Iowa. Get in touch to learn more about how to help the poor and fight poverty in your community today!

Donate Today!

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383 Poverty Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

  • 📑 Aspects to Cover in a Poverty Essay

Students who learn economics, politics, and social sciences are often required to write a poverty essay as part of their course. While everyone understands the importance of this topic, it can be hard to decide what to write about. Read this post to find out the aspects that you should cover in your essay on poverty.

🏆 Best Poverty Topics & Free Essay Examples

👍 powerful topics on poverty and inequality, 🎓 simple & easy topics related to poverty, 📌 interesting poverty essay examples, ⭐ strong poverty-related topics, 🥇 unique poverty topics for argumentative essay, ❓ research questions about poverty, 💯 free poverty essay topic generator.

Topics related to poverty and inequality might seem too broad. There are so many facts, factors, and aspects you should take into consideration. However, we all know that narrowing down a topic is one of the crucial steps when working on an outline and thesis statement. You should be specific enough to select the right arguments for your argumentative essay or dissertation. Below, you will find some aspects to include in your poverty essay.

Poverty Statistics

First of all, it would be beneficial to include some background information on the issue. Statistics on poverty in your country or state can help you to paint a picture of the problem. Look for official reports on poverty and socioeconomic welfare, which can be found on government websites. While you are writing this section, consider the following:

  • What is the overall level of poverty in your country or state?
  • Has the prevalence of poverty changed over time? If yes, how and why?
  • Are there any groups or communities where poverty is more prevalent than in the general population? What are they?

Causes of Poverty

If you look at poverty essay titles, the causes of poverty are a popular theme among students. While some people may think that poverty occurs because people are lazy and don’t want to work hard, the problem is much more important than that. Research books and scholarly journal articles on the subject with these questions in mind:

  • Why do some groups of people experience poverty more often than others?
  • What are the historical causes of poverty in your country?
  • How is poverty related to other social issues, such as discrimination, immigration, and crime?
  • How do businesses promote or reduce poverty in the community?

Consequences of Poverty

Many poverty essay examples also consider the consequences of poverty for individuals and communities. This theme is particularly important if you study social sciences or politics. Here are some questions that may give you ideas for this section:

  • How is the psychological well-being of individuals affected by poverty?
  • How is poverty connected to crime and substance abuse?
  • How does poverty affect individuals’ access to high-quality medical care and education?
  • What is the relationship between poverty and world hunger?

Government Policies

Governments of most countries have policies in place to reduce poverty and help those in need. In your essay, you may address the policies used in your state or country or compare several different governments in terms of their approaches to poverty. Here is what you should think about:

  • What are some examples of legislation aimed at reducing poverty?
  • Do laws on minimum wage help to prevent and decrease poverty? Why or why not?
  • How do governments help people who are poor to achieve higher levels of social welfare?
  • Should governments provide financial assistance to those in need? Why or why not?

Solutions to Poverty

Solutions to poverty are among the most popular poverty essay topics, and you will surely find many sample papers and articles on this subject. This is because poverty is a global issue that must be solved to facilitate social development. Considering these questions in your poverty essay conclusion or main body will help you in getting an A:

  • What programs or policies proved to be effective in reducing poverty locally?
  • Is there a global solution to poverty that would be equally effective in all countries?
  • How can society facilitate the reduction of poverty?
  • What solutions would you recommend to decrease and prevent poverty?

Covering a few of these aspects in your essay will help you demonstrate the in-depth understanding and analysis required to earn a high mark. Before you start writing, have a look around our website for more essay titles, tips, and interesting topics!

  • UN Summit in New York: Ending Global Poverty He challenges the international community to enact laws that categorizes the misuse of power ‘which leads to poverty’ as a crime against humanity. The persistence of poverty can be attributed to poor governance and ignorance.
  • Poverty and the Environment The human population affects the environment negatively due to poverty resulting to environmental degradation and a cycle of poverty. Poverty and the environment are interlinked as poverty leads to degradation of the environment.
  • Concepts of Prenatal Drug Exposure vs Poverty on Infants In conclusion parents are of great influence to the development of their children character. Drugs use and poverty are all parents fault, and has nothing to do with the child but they are a major […]
  • Aspects of Global Poverty There are arguments that have been put forth in regard to the causes of poverty in various nations with some people saying that the governments in various nations are there to be blamed for their […]
  • Peter Singer on Resolving the World Poverty Everyone in this world has different perception about luxury for example many people consider Television as the basic need of life in order to get information and current situation of the world where as some […]
  • Poverty and Wealth in “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara This theme contributes to the meaning of “The Lesson” because the narrator illustrates the differences that exist amid the prosperous and poor kids in the fictitious story.
  • Literature Study on the Modern Poverty Concerns Although the author does not expound on the various factor that enhance the growth and development of poverty, it is vivid that the world population in the modern society is facing a common economic threat.
  • Poverty Concerns in Today’s Society In the contemporary world, the definition of poverty is often made international by bodies such as the World Bank and the United Nations bodies with a hypothetical line being described for the various regions of […]
  • Poverty and Its Impact on Global Health: Research Methodologies Little progress has been shown to exist if one is to compare the late nineties and into the twenty first century but a lot still needs to be done to avert this catastrophe.
  • Poverty in Urban Areas The main reason for escalation of the problem of poverty is urban areas is because the intricate problems of urban poverty are considered too small to attract big policies.
  • Why Poverty Rates are Higher among Single Black Mothers Lack of assets, loan facilities and poor savings have played a role in contributing to the growth of poverty among single black women.
  • The Problem of Immigrants Poverty in the US Alternative Hypothesis The level of poverty is significantly higher among immigrants than in general population, or Immigrant’s poverty is the root cause of social factors within their families and in society as well.
  • Poverty in Brazil The primary aim of the exploration was to relate and construe the experimental findings arising from the application of the FGT poverty standards reformulation to Brazilian domestic examination data.
  • What Causes Poverty in the World One of the major factors that have contributed to poverty in given areas of the world is overpopulation. Environmental degradation in many parts of the world has led to the increase of poverty in the […]
  • Poverty in the Bronx: Negative Effects of Poverty South Bronx is strictly the southwestern part of the borough of Bronx and Bronx is the only borough in New York city in the mainland.
  • Effects of Poverty on Immigrant Children As research studies show, although there is a group of immigrants who belong to higher social classes, mostly because of their formal education levels, most of immigrants belong to the low socioeconomic class, as most […]
  • Immigrant Status and Poverty: How Are They Linked? It has been shown that native status of the immigrant family does affect the amount of income earned by a family by Chapman and Berstein.
  • Social Welfare Policy That Facilitates Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in the US In spite of the scale of the increase in the inequality, the political class in the US rarely discusses this subject in the public.
  • Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle against World Poverty: Advantages of Microcredit The main features of the Grameen project are the availability to the poor people who have no credit history and are not able to borrow a loan from a bank because of the lack of […]
  • Poverty in Russia during the Late Nineteenth Century Most importantly, Pytor Pertovich Semyonova role was instrumental in the life of the peasants living before the revolution since he championed the passing of rules that were intended to guarantee the Russian peasants of their […]
  • Poverty and its Effects on Childhood Education The foremost strength of Guo’s study is that in it, author succeeded with substantiating the full soundness of an idea that children’s exposure to poverty cannot possibly be thought of as only the factor that […]
  • What is the Relationship between Race, Poverty and Prison? The inherent problem with this is that it becomes a “self fulfilling prophecy” in that a higher predilection to suspect minorities for crimes does indeed result in minorities being arrested for crimes but this leaves […]
  • The Singer Solution to World Poverty: Arguments Against The article compares the lives of people in the developed world represented by America and that of developing world represented by Brazil; It is about a school teacher who sells a young boy for adoption […]
  • Poverty in America Rural and Urban Difference (Education) The understanding of the needs of the poverty American rural and urban schools is the first step on the way to reforming the system of elementary and secondary education.
  • Poverty and Inequality in Jacksonian America One of the reactions of the leaders and most especially the presidents under this period was to impose a policy of non-intervention by the federal government.
  • The Singer Solution to World Poverty In his work, “The Singer solution to the world poverty” he tried to sell his idea of how the world poverty could be eradicated through sacrifice.
  • On (Not) Getting by in America: Economic Order and Poverty in the U.S. In fact, according to her, these conditions are unlivable and can be referred to as another form of servant class. To this extent, it is possible to concur with Ehrenreich that these conditions are unlivable […]
  • Poverty among Women and Aboriginals The following are the factors that contribute to the poverty of women: First is the gender related roles; this is whereby women are only restricted to household roles.
  • The Problems of Poverty in the Modern World It is interesting to note that practically, all the problems that are linked to poverty, are either directly or indirectly caused by lack of or inadequacy of money, thus, it can confidently be said that […]
  • Capitalism and Poverty While the president’s statement after the release of the report agreed that 2009 was tough especially to the working class people, two of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, live […]
  • Poverty as a Peculiarity of the Economical Development I think that poverty is not only financial, economic problem, therefore, the economic model of “rich” developed countries cannot be appropriate for all societies in the worlds due to the different aspect such as mentality, […]
  • The End of Poverty Philippe Diaz’s documentary, The End of Poverty, is a piece that attempts to dissect the causes of the huge economic inequalities that exist between countries in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Poverty in Africa These pictures have been published online to show the world the gravity of the poverty situation in the African continent. The pictures represent the suffering of majority of the African people as a result of […]
  • Poverty as Capability Deprivation In this paper, the importance of social justice manifests through the understanding of social deprivation, as opposed to the understanding of income levels in the achievement of social justice.
  • Poverty in Saudi Arabia It is expected that through the various facts and arguments presented in this paper.the reason behind the high poverty rate within Saudi Arabia despite its oil wealth as compared to its neighbors will become clear […]
  • The Causes of Poverty Concentration in the Modern World Even though the average income of people living in developed countries is above the poverty line, the nations still experience concentrations of poverty especially when it comes to income inequality.
  • The Myth of the Culture of Poverty Unfortunately, rather all of the stereotypes regarding poor people are widespread in many societies and this has served to further increase the problem of generational poverty. Poor people are regarded to be in the state […]
  • War on Poverty in US The term war on poverty officially came into being in 1964 and referred to concerted government efforts to eradicate assiduous poverty in the United States of America.
  • Consumerism: Affecting Families Living in Poverty in the United States Hence, leading to the arising of consumerism protection acts and policies designed to protect consumers from dishonest sellers and producers, which indicates the high degree of consumer’s ignorance, and hence failure to make decisions of […]
  • Freedom From Poverty as a Human Right and the Un Declaration of Human Rights This reveals the nature of the interrelatedness of the whole boy of human rights and the need to address human rights in that context.
  • Environmental Degradation and Poverty It is however important to understand the causes of the environmental degradation and the ways to reduce them, which will promote the improvement of the environmental quality.
  • War on Poverty: Poverty Problem in US Apart from the two initiatives discussed above, another important initiative that can be used in the war against poverty is to engage the poor in programs of fighting poverty.
  • Sweatshops and Third World Poverty When discussing about the role of multinationals in developing countries and the way they treat the economies, the writers are of the opinion that to avoid negative outcomes and promote the spirit of international corporation, […]
  • Effect of Poverty on Children Cognitive and Learning Ability The majority of the conducted researches have reveals a positive relationship between the achievement and SES in all ages of children. Poverty and low socioeconomic status are closely related to cognitive development of children.
  • The Mothers Who Are Not Single: Striving to Avoid Poverty in Single-Parent Families In the present-day world, single-parent families are under a considerable threat due to the lack of support and the feeling of uncertainty that arises once one of the spouses leaves, whether it is due to […]
  • Poverty in the United States Inadequate fundamental learning, a wide gap between the incomes of the o-level learners and the professionals, among others, are some of the cited causes of the poverty, but lack of employment is the root cause.
  • Reducing Poverty: Unilever and Oxfam From the case, it is clear that most MNC’s conduct their businesses in Least Developed Countries with no regard to the communities and environmental concerns of their areas of operations.
  • Impacts of global poverty resistance Though global economy has raised the world productivity and living standards of the humans due to increased income, it has led to greater inequality within countries as evidenced among the less developed economies in Africa […]
  • Microcredit: A Tool for Poverty Alleviation In recognition of the role that microfinance’s can play in the eradication of poverty and hence the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, The UN duped 2005 as the “year of microcredit”.
  • Third World Countries and the Barriers Stopping them to Escape Poverty The phrase Third World was initially used in the Cold War period to represent those countries that were neither on the West NATO nations referred to as the first world countries, nor on the East-Communist […]
  • Poverty in India and China India’s slow rate of poverty reduction compared to China is due to the differences in their approach to the economy. Improving the living conditions and general well being of the people is not only the […]
  • We Can Stop Poverty in Ghana Today One of the main disadvantages of the document is that the problem of poverty is not considered separately, but only as a part of other economic and social problems.
  • MDG Poverty Goals May be Achieved, but Child Mortality is not Improving The progress in achieving the first goal- to cut the number of people living in poverty by half- is evidenced by the high growth rates in China and India.
  • Social Issues; Crime and Poverty in Camden This has threatened the social security and peaceful coexistence of the people in the community. The larger the differences between the poor and the rich, the high are the chances of crime.
  • Susceptibility of women and Aboriginal people to poverty in Canada The prevalence of poverty among women and the Aboriginal people in Canada is an issue that requires urgent concern. This is a clear indication that eradication of poverty among the women and Aboriginal people in […]
  • Africa’s Poverty: The Influence of Western States These people are the ones who are in a better position to accelerate the development of Africa because they have the skills that are required to take African states to another level.
  • Social Business Scope in Alleviating Poverty Instead of charity work, social business aims at creating a mechanism in which the poor may be helped in a sustainable manner in that the social business makes profits just like conventional businesses, but the […]
  • Cause and Effect of Poverty For example, the disparities in income and wealth are considered as a sign of poverty since the state is related to issues of scarcity and allocation of resources and influence.
  • Poverty, Homelessness and Discrimination in Australia: The case of the Aboriginal He described the various aspects of the ownership of the means of production in the form of factories, machines and technology and emerging system of relations of production as an important determinants of classes.
  • Poverty Indicators in Developing Countries It was chosen by the World Bank for use in determining the poverty rates of poor countries. Poor countries are given first considerations in programming and implementing of the World Bank’s projects.
  • Analytical Research: Poverty in Thailand: Peculiarities and Perspectives Therefore, the government has enacted the various measures that have to improve the level of life and the image of the country.
  • The Problem of Poverty in Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” To see the situation from the perspective of its social significance, it is necessary to refer to Mills’ concept of sociological imagination and to the division of problems and issues into personal and social ones.
  • Civil War and Poverty: “The Bottom Billion” by Paul Collier He uses it when referring to the countries in the world, which make up the majority of the billion population of the world that unfortunately sits at the bottom of the world in terms of […]
  • Fight Poverty, Fight Illiteracy in Mississippi Initiative What is required is a commitment of the members to voice the concerns of the population to the US government to take actions that are aimed at ensuring that policies are put in place to […]
  • Correlation between Poverty and Obesity The present research seeks to achieve this through assessing the suggestion that today in the Western nations; the poor are now, for the first time in history, proportionately the most obese in the population groups.
  • Poverty and Gender Violence in Congo In the 1990s, the country witnessed a brutal civil conflict that was attributed to struggle for power and the interest of the foreign powers.
  • Is Poverty Of Poor Countries In Anyway Due To Wealth Of The Rich? There is the class of the rich elites and the class of the illiterate poor. This paper seeks to ascertain the argument that poverty of poor countries is due to the wealth of the rich.
  • Poverty Effects on Child Development and Schooling To help children from low-income families cope with poverty, interventions touching in the child’s development and educational outcomes are essential. Those programs campaign against the effects of poverty among children by providing basic nutritional, academic, […]
  • Rural Poverty in Indonesia As on one hand a larger number of people living in poverty are found in the rural areas, on the other hand, there exists “a division in which the pace of poverty reduction slows down […]
  • Property, Urban Poverty and Spatial marginalization Blomley observes that the working of the property market also makes a significant contribution to the urban poverty and consequently leads to spatial marginalization.
  • Social Dynamics: The Southern Poverty Law Centre To appreciate the need for equality and equity in any given society, the author will rely on the activities of an organization championing the same in compiling the report.
  • Poverty and Development into the 21st Century The choices of citizens in the west influence the consumer, as well as political behaviors of the consumers and voters in the developing regions.
  • Technological development in trade and its impacts on poverty On the same note, Cypher and Dietz claim that due to the expenses incurred in updating the technology to international standards, many business organizations have over the years been increasing the prices of their commodities […]
  • Poverty fighting in Saudi Arabia and in USA This report discuses some of the poverty prevention programs that have been adopted by Saudi Arabia and the United States in dealing with a global problem, threatening the lives of billions of people around the […]
  • African Poverty: To Aid, or Not to Aid In my opinion, granting educational aid to Africa is one of the best strategies required by African economies and eradicates poverty.
  • Does Parental Involvement and Poverty Affect Children’s Education and Their Overall Performance? The discussion will look at the various ways in which parents are involved in the academic performance of children and also whether poverty affects the involvement of parents in the academic performance of their children.
  • The Connection Between Poverty and Mental Health Problems The daily struggle to earn a daily bread takes a toll on an individual mental health and contributes to mental health problem.
  • Poverty Reduction in Africa, Central America and Asia In spite of the growing attention into the subject, poverty threatens majority of the communities and societies in the developing countries, particularly in Africa.
  • Global Poverty, Social Policy, and Education Defining, compare and contrasting modernization and dependency theories in relation to development and global poverty stating suggestions and causes of poverty globally Modernization theory as the name suggests, refers to modernizing or venturing to new […]
  • Global Poverty, Social Poverty and Education It is therefore quite important that new forms of education systems and development theories are introduced based on situations in developing countries.
  • How World Vision International Contributes to Poverty Reduction It is with the understanding of the root causes of poverty that World Vision International, it enacts programs that address the root causes so that they remain sustainable in the future even after the withdraw […]
  • Critical Analyses of the Climate of Fear Report from Southern Poverty Law Center Following the murder of Marcelo Lucero in the Suffolk County, the federal government initiated an investigation to establish the foundations of the practice and pattern of hate crimes against the undocumented immigrants.
  • Global poverty and education This paper will discuss the criticisms of the development theories, the historical context of development efforts, the role of international and non-governmental organizations in multilateral education and solutions offered by contemporary scholars to enhance the […]
  • Terrorism, poverty and financial instability Terrorist activities are perpetrated to compel the affected parties to comply with the demands of the terrorists. Some of the conflicts in the developing countries caused by the instability and poverty in the third world […]
  • Poverty Prevalence in the United States In order to meet the American Dream, the issue of poverty needs to be addressed in the US in order to pave the way for the realization of these goals. The higher is the gap […]
  • Films Comparison: “The Fields” by Roland Joffe and “Hotel Rwanda” by Terry George In the killing fields, three journalists Schanberg, Swain and Pran who witnessed the Cambodian genocide under the regimes of Pol Pot and Rouge recount the stories and events of the genocide.
  • Issues underlying global poverty and provision of aid The argument Barrientos, Hulme and Hanlon holds is indeed strong, but it is very important to note that even with the massive achievements that aid programs have achieved in the setting up of individuals and […]
  • Development is No Longer the Solution to poverty Thus, the so-called development throughout the world has led to the creation of additional dependence of the poor nations to the rich nations.
  • Millennium Development Goals in Kenya, Ivory Coast, Haiti, and Chad Relationship between poverty and education As has been observed above, low income countries that experience extreme famine tend to have the lowest rates of education.
  • Why is poverty important in contemporary security studies? In addition, the essay will explore the evolution of global security studies and evaluate the significance of poverty in the modern security studies.
  • How Poverty Affects Children Development? The fact is that as much as it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that children get their needs, the inability of the parents and guardians to provide these basic needs to […]
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Successful Entrepreneur To access it easily, one has to design the program in a way that compels the legions of imitators and replicators.
  • Hispanic Childhood Poverty in the United States Importance of the Problem The problem of childhood poverty in Hispanic groups in America is important to this study and to the social studies in America.
  • Wordsworth’s Vision of Childhood in His Poems “We Are Seven” and “Alice Fell or Poverty” Specifically, the joint publication he released in 1798 known as “Lyrical Ballads” are considered the most important publications in the rise of the Romantic literature in the UK and Europe.
  • Importance of Foreign Aid in Poverty Reducing Foreign aid is one of the methods used by wealthy nations to help reduce poverty in the least developed countries. Such countries as the US and Canada have provided financial aid to a number of […]
  • “Urban and Rural Estimates of Poverty: Recent Advances in Spatial Microsimulation in Australia” by Tanton, R, Harding, A, and McNamara, J The purpose of this article was to use “a spatial microsimulation model to calculate the rates of poverty for small areas in Australia”.
  • Does Poverty Lead to Terrorism? While there are conflicting arguments regarding the factors that influence terrorism, scholars agree on the need to evaluate evidence on the causes of terrorism and develop concrete strategies and approaches to tackle a vice that […]
  • Concept of Poverty The main difference between this definition and other definitions of poverty highlighted in this paper is the broad understanding of the concept.
  • Measuring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Australia The topic, measuring poverty and social exclusion was chosen to broaden the understanding of poverty and elements of social exclusion. Therefore, it is imperative for policymakers to recognise the role of diverse indicators that measure […]
  • The Rise of Extremist Groups, Disparity and Poverty Despite the negative consequences that terrorists have posed to the society, the fight against the vice has become more difficult with time, especially in the light of the increasing support for the violent actions against […]
  • Poverty and Domestic Violence It is based on this that in the next section, I have utilized my educational experience in order to create a method to address the issue of domestic violence from the perspective of a social […]
  • How do Migration and Urbanization Bring About Urban Poverty in Developing Countries? When there is a high rate of rural to urban migration, there is pressure on the limited resources in the urban centers.
  • Energy and Poverty Solutions – World Bank Ultimately, bank team confirms eligibility of all aspects of the project and their consistency with World Bank requirements and at the same time the potential of intended government to efficiently implement the projects.
  • Energy and Poverty Solutions – Non-traditional Cookstoves The assessment paper which is based on a survey of women in rural Bangladesh explores the most valued attribute of a non-traditional stove, the significance of downward sloping curve, factors that influence household decisions to […]
  • Sociological Indicators of Energy Poverty Access to energy has been viewed as one of the ways of uplifting the living standards of people. The lack of enough energy supplies is perceived to be a major contributor to poverty in this […]
  • Millennium Development Goals – Energy and Poverty Solutions It is in the family of access to assert. It is in the family of inequity.
  • Tourism Contribution to Poverty Reduction Managers usually make targeting errors such as poor delivery of tourism benefits to the poor and accruing tourism benefit to the rich in the society.
  • Causes of Poverty Traps in an Economy, its Results and Ways of Avoiding them Unemployment in an economy results to low incomes to the workers since their services are readily available in the market which in turn leads to reduction in the disposable income of the workers.
  • What Should You Do? Poverty Issue The only way to stop that would be to sacrifice his car, to stop the train by pushing it on the track but he does not.
  • “Facing Poverty With a Rich Girl’s Habits” by Suki Kim Finally, revealing the problems of adapting to a new social status, the story turns remarkably complex, which also lends it a certain charm.
  • Business and Pollution Inequality in Poor States Pollution in the third world countries leads to the degradation of the environment reducing the quality of life for the people.
  • The Economic Effect of Issuing Food Stamps to Those in Poverty This method would be the most suitable because of the large number of participants to be involved in collection of data. The interviewer will have to be highly responsive to individual differences of participants and […]
  • Globalization and the Issue of Poverty: Making the World a Better Place The aforementioned definitions of globalization and poverty can help define the potential changes that the globalization will have on the rates of the former in the nearest future.
  • Challenges of Social Integration: Poverty The government of Romania uses two measures of poverty to estimate the level of poverty in the country: absolute and relative poverty measures.
  • The World Bank and the Poverty of Reform However, with the various leadership scandals that have been observed in the bank, experts now doubt whether the World Bank has the capacity to address the various development challenges that are facing the developing nations.
  • Poverty Research Proposal To justify this, the recent and most current statistics from the Census Bureau shows that the level and rate of poverty in USA is increasing, with minority ethnic groups being the most disadvantaged.
  • Global Poverty Studies and their Importance The most difficult thing in discussing and scientifically explaining the phenomenon of poverty is that there is no macroeconomic approach to it.
  • Human Capital and Poverty in Scottsdale According to Lang and LeFurgy, over 52% of the residents of this city have a degree or higher education attainments, because of the education policies and the attractiveness of the city to foreigners.
  • “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” by Peter Singer The article “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” by author Peter Singer attempts to provide a workable solution to the world poverty problem.
  • Catholic Dealing with Poverty and Homelessness The idea of “common good” will support many people in the world. The practice will support many people in the world.
  • How Racial Segregation Contributes to Minority’s Poverty? In the conclusion section, the paper argues that racial segregation though a contributor to concentrated poverty in minority communities, is a social issue that arguably cannot be legislated.
  • The Poverty Across the US Culture This paper argues that the prevalence of poverty in most parts of the US is a result of poor strategizing, the lack of education, mistakes in choosing courses, the disappearance of low-skill jobs and a […]
  • The Solution to World Poverty by Peter Singer Therefore, in the worst case scenario, the implementation of the plan proposed by Singer will lead to the financial instability for not only the beneficiaries, but also for the people donating for the wellbeing of […]
  • Suburbanisation of Poverty in the USA In particular, it is necessary to focus on the transformation of American economy and changing attitudes of people who previously wanted to settle in suburban areas.
  • Max Weber’s Thoughts on Poverty Weber has contributed to the exploration of the origins of poverty and the impact of religions on the attitude to it.
  • Poverty as the Deprivation of Capabilities Nussbaum supports Sen’s argument that efforts in poverty eradication should be focused on capability deprivation, which is the taking away of the abilities bestowed on someone, rather than raising the income of the poor.
  • Poverty Controversy in the USA The essay provides a consistent discussion of poverty in the USA as well as verifies the standards of socioeconomic life in America against those, which exist in the developing countries.
  • Detroit Poverty and “Focus Hope” Organization There is a great number of factors and issues that lead to a certain part of the population to live in poverty.”Focus Hope” is an organization that tries to alleviate the suffering of those in […]
  • Poverty: $2.00 a Day in America When conversations about the poor occur in the city of Washington, they usually discuss the struggles of the working poor, forgetting about the issues that the non-working poor face day by day.
  • Social Issues of Families in Poverty With the tightened budget, parents of the families living in poverty struggle to make ends meet, and in the course of their struggles, they experience many stresses and depressions.
  • Profit from Organizing Tours to Poverty Areas The tour operators are in the business of selling services that are beneficial to both the tourist and the people in the destination country.
  • The Rise of Poverty in the US The main issue that is portrayed in the article is the presence of the invisible poor and the homeless poor in the US.
  • Poverty in the Novel “Snow” by Orhan Pamuk All through, the author creatively captures the attention of the reader without watering down the content and flow of the storyline. The reality of poverty is undeniable in this book.
  • Global Conflict and Poverty Crisis The contemporary issue of global conflict and poverty crisis requires the attention of international communities and governments. The study of international conflicts and poverty crisis is important for individuals, communities, and nations across the world.
  • Global Poverty Reduction: Economic Policy Recommendation Relative poverty is the unforgivable level of poverty ranging between average and absolute poverty. In accordance with the capabilities approach, poverty and dispossession are as a result of lack of individual capacity and competencies.
  • Global Poverty and the Endeavors of Addressing It Despite the attempts of modern economists to reconsider the financial options for the poor, the latter will always exist unless the very structure of economy is replaced with an entirely new principle of distributive justice.
  • Poverty and Education: School Funding Reinforces Inequality The government supplied the highest amount of funds in New York City Schools, but the inadequacy made them to achieve the poorest results.
  • Poverty Effect on Children 1 million children, aged between 5 to 17 years old, were noted to be from low income families which, as explained by George Stokes, & Wilkinson, can result in a lack of access to a […]
  • African Poverty at the Millennium: Causes and Challenges The book “African Poverty at the Millennium: Causes, Complexities, and Challenges” explores the issue of poverty in Africa. In the second part of the book, the authors discuss the social, political, and economic causes of […]
  • Divorce Outcomes: Poverty and Instability Divorce is not the solution to challenges in marriage since it results in poverty, instability and unstable environment for children. Personal analysis shows that due to this situation, some children are usually left to the […]
  • The Relationship between Poverty and Education My research paper tends to provide investigation towards the amount of characteristics that alter the degree of registration into institutions of higher education of scholars from inferior social groups; to define the relative importance of […]
  • Poverty Reduction Among American Single Mothers The typical causes of the single-mothers’ unemployment and poverty are the lack of education to receive the well-paid job and the absence of the social support to provide the adequate care for children.
  • Poverty in “A Theology of Liberation” by Gutierrez The most critical aspect in which this state deviates from the former two is that a poor person perfectly understands the necessity to abide with God and, simultaneously, the debilitating effect of poverty.
  • Poverty and Social Welfare in the United States Nevertheless, unemployment is not the only source of poverty, and the New World was hardly the land of wealth and prosperity.
  • Poverty in Orwell’s “Down and Out in Paris and London” The fact that the structure of society is discussed is especially interesting, and it is suggested that opinions of people that live in poverty are not acknowledged most of the time.
  • Children and Poverty in “Born into Brothels” Documentary The desire to cognize the meaning of life involves the quest for the internal integrity and constancy of the personality. The fact of belonging to a particular cultural group, in which there are standards and […]
  • Poverty and Challenges in Finding Solutions It is obvious, that an ideal solution to the issue of poverty is distribution of these funds between people in need and improvement of current situation.
  • American War on Poverty Throughout US History It was the beginning of the issue of poverty. However, there is an opinion that it was the question of policy and his way to increase the level of popularity.
  • Poverty Reasons in Ancient Times and Nowadays It is possible to suggest that there are some main reasons for poverty, which are the ineffective political system, discrimination, and mistakes of the rulers of different states.
  • Do Poverty Traps Exist? Assessing the Evidence They believe unless there is a proper policy in place that can change the fundamentals of the economy, simple investment with the assistance of foreign aid will not help the country to come out of […]
  • “Halving Global Poverty” by Besley and Burges Tim Besley and Robin Burges note in their paper “Halving Global Poverty” that, depending on the average real per capita income of a country, high inequality of income is positively correlated to the high degree […]
  • Poverty as a Cause of the Sudanese Civil War The connection between poverty and conflict has been analyzed in the West African region where “11 of the world’s 25 poorest countries are contained and is currently one of the most unstable regions of the […]
  • Poor Economics and Global Poverty In the given paper, we will discuss and analyze the factors contributing to the increase in poverty rates, review the consequences and effects of poverty on individuals and the society as a whole, and outline […]
  • Poverty in the US The United States of America is one of the most diverse countries in the world. The question here is what are the possible causes of poverty in a country like the United States.
  • Culture of Poverty in the “Park Avenue” Documentary In contrast, the uncaring and greedy attitudes of the people in the movie could be characterized as a “culture of wealth”.
  • Poverty Rates Among Whites and Blacks Americans To support the evidence provided by the new report, the author of the article cites the data of the American Community Survey from 2009-2013 that demonstrate that in Chicago, more than 30% of poor black […]
  • Global Health Governance and Poverty The aim of this paper is to outline the importance of health in global governance and discuss the issue of poverty in less-developed nations as a significant challenge to the global health system.
  • Vietnamese Poverty and Productivity Increase There was also a change in the percentage of the population that lived on or below the poverty line. In1993, 60% of the population was living on or below the poverty line through this reduced […]
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty The hypothesis presented by the authors is a difference in the economies: while the former shows the signs of the inclusive economy, which does not restrict the wealth from being distributed among the population for […]
  • Energy Poverty Elimination in Developing Countries Responding to the article by Sagar, I would like to emphasize that the establishment of a special fund to assist the mentioned countries in alleviating energy poverty is a feasible idea.
  • Poverty Impact on Life Perception
  • Poverty and Child Health in the US and the UK
  • Inequality and Poverty Relationship
  • Urban and Suburban Poverty in the United States
  • Breastfeeding Impact on Canadian Poverty Gaps
  • Poverty, Inequality and Social Policy Understanding
  • Poverty: An Echo of Capitalism
  • Poverty Areas and Effects on Juvenile Delinquency
  • Poverty Solution as a Political Issue in Australia
  • Poverty as a Factor of Terrorist Recruitment
  • Poverty and Global Food Crisis: Food and Agriculture Model
  • Child Poverty and Academic Achievement Association
  • Poverty in America: An Ethical Dilemma
  • Poverty and Its Relative Definitions
  • Economic Development: Prosperity and Poverty
  • Poverty and Its Aspects in Historical Documents
  • Single-Mother Poverty and Policies in the United States
  • Poverty in American Single-Parent Families
  • Video Volunteers’ Interventions Against Poverty
  • Social Study: Mamelodi Residents Living in Poverty
  • International Financial Institutions’ Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • “Poverty and Joy: The Franciscan Tradition” by Short
  • The Impact of Poverty in African American Communities
  • Poverty and Politics in “The Bottom Billion” by Collier
  • Canada and the Imposition of Poverty
  • The Relation Between Poverty and Justice
  • Relationship Between Crime Rates and Poverty
  • Poverty and Inequality in “Rich and Poor” by Peter Singer
  • Religious Quotes on Poverty and Their Interpretations
  • Econometrics: Poverty, Unemployment, Household Income
  • Poverty in the US: Essentials of Sociology
  • “Rethinking the Sociological Measurement of Poverty” by Brady
  • Poverty in Los Angeles
  • Poverty around the World
  • Teen Pregnancy Can Lead to Suicide and Poverty
  • Poverty, Stratification and Gender Discrimination
  • Anthropology: Culture of Poverty
  • Globalization Issues and Impact on Poverty and Free Trade
  • Poverty and Hip-Hop: Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy”
  • Social Problem of Poverty in the United States
  • Poverty in Bambara’s The Lesson and Danticat’s A Wall of Fire Rising
  • Healthcare Development. Poverty in the 1800s
  • Development Economics: Poverty Traps in Africa
  • Phenomena of Poverty Review
  • “Old Age Poverty” Study by Kwan & Walsh
  • Community Work: Helping People in Poverty
  • Poverty Rates Issue in Alberta Analysis
  • The Philippines’ Unemployment, Inequality, Poverty
  • Poverty in the US: Causes and Measures
  • The Cultural Construction of Poverty
  • Theories of Fertility. Economics Aspect and Poverty.
  • Poverty Level in any Country
  • Global Poverty Dimensions and Alleviating Approaches
  • Feminization of Poverty – A Grave Social Concern
  • Poverty As A General Problem
  • Poverty of America: Economic Assumptions
  • Poverty and Its Effects on Women
  • Poverty and Its Effects on Females
  • Poverty and Inequality in Modern World
  • Microeconomics. Poverty in America
  • Poverty Issue in America Review
  • Children’s Brain Function Affected by Poverty
  • Child Poverty in Toronto, Ontario
  • The Underclass Poverty and Associated Social Problems
  • Poverty. “How the Other Half Lives” by Jacob Riis
  • Pockets of Poverty Mar the Great Promise of Canada
  • Marginalization and Poverty of Rural Women
  • Management Issues: The Poverty Business
  • Environmental Deterioration and Poverty in Kenya
  • Poverty as a Great Social Problem and Its Causes
  • Colonial Economy of America: Poverty, Slavery and Rich Plantations
  • Poverty by Anarchism and Marxism Approaches
  • How Gender and Race Structure Poverty and Inequality Connected?
  • Is Poverty From Developing Countries Imagined?
  • Social and Economic Policy Program: Globalization, Growth, and Poverty
  • Poverty, Suburban Public School Violence and Solution
  • The End of Poverty Possibility
  • Urban Relationship Between Poverty and Crime
  • Poverty in the World
  • Poverty and Criminal Behavoiur Relation
  • Cultures and Prejudice: Poverty Factors
  • Poverty in United States. Facts and Causes
  • War and Poverty Connection in Developing Countries
  • Values and Ethics: Poverty in Canada
  • Poverty in America: A Paradox
  • The Poverty Rates in the USA
  • The Effects of Poverty Within Criminal Justice
  • Poverty, Government and Unequal Distribution of Wealth in Philippines
  • “The End of Poverty” by Phillipe Diaz
  • Poverty Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Countries: The Role of NGOs
  • The Problem of Poverty in Africa
  • The Notion of “Poverty” is a Key Word of a Modern Society
  • Intro to Sociology: Poverty
  • Poverty and Disasters in the United States
  • Vietnam’s Economic Growth and Poverty & Inequality
  • Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development
  • Poverty and Disrespect in “Coming of Age in Mississippi” by Anne Moody
  • Poverty in Africa: Impact of the Economy Growth Rate
  • The Internet and Poverty in Society
  • Poverty: Causes and Effects on the Population and Country
  • Poverty and Diseases
  • Poor Kids: The Impact of Poverty on Youth
  • Individualistic Concepts and Structural Views on Poverty in American Society
  • The Problem of Childhood Poverty
  • Health, Poverty, and Social Equity: Indigenous Peoples of Canada
  • Health, Poverty, and Social Equity: The Global Response to the Ebola Outbreak
  • Children in Poverty in Kampong Ayer, Brunei
  • Corporate Social Responsibility & Poverty Alleviation
  • Poverty Reduction and Natural Assets
  • Poverty Policy Recommendations
  • Dependency Theory and “The End of Poverty?”
  • The Impact of Poverty on Children Under the Age of 11
  • Microeconomic Perspective on Poverty Evolution in Pakistan
  • Poverty: A Sociological Imagination Perspective
  • Reflective Analysis of Poverty
  • Couple Aims to Fight Poverty, One Village at a Time
  • “Poverty, Race, and the Contexts of Achievement” by Maryah Stella Fram et al.
  • Community Health Needs: Poverty
  • The Issue of Vicious Circle of Poverty in Brazil
  • The Criminalization of Poverty in Canada
  • Poverty’s Effects on Delinquency
  • Guns Do Not Kill, Poverty Does
  • Children Living in Poverty and Education
  • Wealth and Poverty: The Christian Teaching on Wealth and Poverty
  • Poverty, Social Class, and Intersectionality
  • Researching the Problem of Poverty
  • Poverty as a Global Social Problem
  • Poverty and Unemployment Due to Increased Taxation
  • The Problem of Poverty in the United States
  • Poverty and Inequality in the US
  • End of Extreme Poverty
  • Political Economy: Relationship Between Poverty, Inequality, and Nationalism
  • Poverty and Sex Trafficking: Qualitative Systematic Review
  • Analysis of Theodore Dalrymple’s “What Is Poverty?”
  • Social Work at Acacia Network: Poverty and Inequality
  • Global Poverty and Ways to Overcome It
  • America’s Shame: How Can Education Eradicate Poverty
  • Poverty, Partner Abuse, and Women’s Mental Health
  • Global Education as the Key Tool for Addressing the Third World Poverty Issue
  • Vicious Circle of Poverty in Brazil
  • Progress and Poverty Book by Henry George
  • Poverty Effects on American Children and Adolescents
  • International Aid – Poverty Inc
  • Analysis of a Social Problem: Poverty
  • Poverty and Inequality Reduction Strategies
  • Poverty and Risks Associated With Poverty
  • Free-Trade Policies and Poverty Level in Bangladesh
  • Feminization of Poverty and Governments’ Role in Solving the Problem
  • Poverty Effects and How They Are Handled
  • Discussion of the Problem of the Poverty
  • Poverty and Homelessness as Social Problem
  • Juvenile Violent Crime and Children Below Poverty
  • “The Hidden Reason for Poverty…” by Haugen
  • Poverty in New York City, and Its Reasons
  • Child Poverty in the United States
  • Poverty and Its Effect on Adult Health
  • Aspects of Social Work and Poverty
  • The Relationship Between Single-Parent Households and Poverty
  • Life Below the Poverty Line in the US
  • Poverty in “A Modest Proposal” by Swift
  • Poverty Simulation Reflection and Its Influence on Life
  • Is Poverty a Choice or a Generational Curse?
  • “Poverty, Toxic Stress, and Education…” Study by Kelly & Li
  • The Problem of Poverty in Chad
  • Is Globalization Reducing Poverty and Inequality? & How to Judge Globalism
  • Poverty: Subsidizing Programs
  • Poverty as a Social Problem in Burundi
  • Food Banks Board Members and Cycle of Poverty
  • Reducing Poverty in the North Miami Beach Community
  • Poverty in Rural and Urban Areas
  • Decreasing Poverty With College Enrollment Program
  • “Life on a Shoestring – American Kids Living in Poverty” by Claycomb
  • The Problems of Poverty and Hunger
  • The Poverty and Education Quality Relationship
  • Global Poverty: Famine, Affluence, and Morality
  • Explosive Growth of Poverty in America
  • Discussion: Poverty and Healthcare
  • Global Poverty: The Ethical Dilemma
  • Early Childhood Financial Support and Poverty
  • The Opportunity for All Program: Poverty Reduction
  • Connection of Poverty and Education
  • Private Sector’s Role in Poverty Alleviation in Asia
  • Poverty and Homelessness in American Society
  • How to Overcome Poverty and Discrimination
  • Poverty: The Main Causes and Factors
  • The Caribbean Culture: Energy Security and Poverty Issues
  • What Is Poverty in the United States?
  • Poverty: Aspects of Needs Assessment
  • Poverty and Homelessness as a Global Social Problem
  • Global Poverty: Ways of Combating
  • Rural Development, Economic Inequality and Poverty
  • Anti-Poverty Programs From the Federal Government
  • Saving the Planet by Solving Poverty
  • Why Has Poverty Increased in Zimbabwe?
  • Should Private Donations Help Eliminate Child Poverty?
  • Why Was Poverty Re-discovered in Britain in the late 1950s and Early 1960?
  • Why Does Child Labour Persist With Declining Poverty?
  • Why Are Child Poverty Rates Higher in Britain Than in Germany?
  • What Are the Principles and Practices for Measuring Child Poverty in Rich Countries?
  • Why Did Poverty Drop for the Elderly?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Income Distribution and Poverty Reduction in the UK?
  • What Are the Pros and Cons of Poverty in Latin America?
  • Should Poverty Researchers Worry About Inequality?
  • What Helps Households With Children in Leaving Poverty?
  • What Is the Connection Between Poverty and Crime?
  • Why Have Some Indian States Done Better Than Others at Reducing Rural Poverty?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Lack of Education and Poverty?
  • Why Are Child Poverty Rates So Persistently High in Spain?
  • Trade Liberalisation and Poverty: What Are the Links?
  • What Are Academic Programs Available for Youth in Poverty?
  • What Are the Main Factors Contributing to the Rise in Poverty in Canada?
  • Single-mother Poverty: How Much Do Educational Differences in Single Motherhood Matter?
  • What Are the Causes and Effects of Poverty in the United?
  • Why Are Some Countries Poor?
  • What Is the Link Between Globalization and Poverty?
  • What Are the Factors That Influence Poverty Sociology?
  • What Causes Poverty Within the United States Economy?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Poverty and Obesity?
  • Why Were Poverty Rates So High in the 1980s?
  • With Exhaustible Resources, Can a Developing Country Escape From the Poverty Trap?
  • Why Does Poverty Persist in Rural Ethiopia?
  • Who Became Poor, Who Escaped Poverty, and Why?
  • Chicago (N-B)
  • Chicago (A-D)

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Poverty - List of Free Essay Examples And Topic Ideas

Poverty, a state of deprivation of basic human needs and economic opportunities, is a pervasive issue across the globe. Essays could explore the systemic causes of poverty, its impact on individuals and communities, and the various strategies employed to alleviate poverty. Additionally, discussions might delve into the role of international aid, the impact of globalization, and the ethical responsibilities of affluent individuals and nations toward poverty reduction. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Poverty you can find at PapersOwl Website. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

Poverty and Drug Abuse Addiction

One popular stereotype associated with drug use is that it is rampant among the poor. However, this is not entirely true since insufficient money linked with the poor cannot probably sustain drug use. The link between the two factors is multifaceted, and the connectedness of poverty is complex. Poverty entails unstable family and interpersonal associations, low-skilled jobs and low status, high arrest degrees, illegitimacy, school dropping out, deprived physical health, high mental conditions, and high mortality rates. Such factors resemble […]

Changing the Face of Poverty Summary

In Changing the Face of Poverty the author, Diana George, begins with her annual food drive at St. Vincent de Paul, and every day she receives bills and catalogs with appeals like the Navajo Health Foundation, little Brothers, and many others. In those was Habitat for Humanity. As a member of this club, I know the duties and responsibility towards this organization. George states that Habitat for Humanity is not as helpful as it seems. She says that the organization […]

Racism in Criminal Justice System

Scott Woods once said, The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people's expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn't care if you are a white person who likes black people; it's […]

Childhood Poverty

Abstract Poverty is viewed throughout the world as a large social problem that continues to advance with time. Since 1960, poverty has continued to flourish into a problem that has affected a large majority of the population, including our children. Childhood poverty affects the psychological and biological development, as well as three main levels of social systems: micro, mezzo and macro. Even though there has been active research on poverty, generational poverty and childhood poverty, no active changes have been […]

Poverty in Developing Countries

Introduction A. (Opening Device) How many of you ever had to think or worry about your next meal? Most of us, we don't have to think about that, we don't think about where we having that meal. But in developing countries people have to think about everything they do in daily life, The goal for the day is to have meal with family and have a shelter, or to live in a house to hope for better lifestyle. To make […]

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College May not be Worth it Anymore by Ellen Ruppel Shell

Since it is believed that a college degree would help in the job market, which in average it does, many Americans have paid heavily for the price of a higher education. ""By last summer, Americans owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans, more than two and a half times what they owed a decade earlier"" (Shell, 2018). This causes Shell to ask the question, if higher education offers that help or if the people who earn the degrees are […]

What is Poverty?

Poverty is a pervasive human condition of being unable to obtain or provide a standard level of food, water, and/or shelter (Fay, n.d.). The United States has the highest rate of poverty among wealthy countries. The official poverty line is based on what the federal government considers to be the minimum amount of money required for living at a subsistence level (Kendell, 2018). Sociologists define poverty in two ways: absolute and relative. Absolute poverty is when the household income is […]

Closing the Education Gap by Attacking Poverty Among Children

Looking around the campus of an Ivy League schools, one wonders how students from such diverse backgrounds ultimately wound up at the same place. From having a mother who works in admissions, I grew up hearing that no matter where you came from, your socioeconomic status, and even sometimes your grades, all kids have the potential to attend a prestigious university. However, I find that hard to believe. With a combination of taking this class on homelessness this semester, growing […]

Can Money Buy Happiness Speech

"Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference" – Barack Obama. Although it is injustice to poor people when we say that money can buy happiness. But still money is the basic amenity for each and every individual. As we can clearly see that average number of people are more than satisfied when they have money while comparing to the situation when they don’t have it. According to Blanchflower and Oswald (2011) review of international happiness they […]

Effect of Rural-Urban Migation on the Poverty Status of Farming Households in Ogbomoso

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the study Needless to say, poverty is a global problem; however, the menace of poverty is most devastating in the developing countries of the world. Food production has hardly kept pace with population size, and the quantity, as well as quality of health, has also massively deteriorated. According to the World Bank Development Report (2013), about 10.7 percent of the world's population lived below poverty line (US $1.90 a day). Poverty is one of […]

How Poverty Correlates with Non English Speaking American Families

How does poverty affect the people in the United states today? Poverty is currently affecting 16.3 percent of women, 13.8 of men, and 21 percent of all children in America. The highest poverty rate by race is found among Native Americans, which is 27.6 percent. African americans have 26.2 percent poverty and Hispanics having 23.4 percent. How do these families provide for their children and help them succeed if they can barely even pay the bills? Families all over the […]

The Pros and Cons of Free College

A college education should not be free to everyone. There are several reasons why it would not be logical to make college tuition free. It would hurt the economy and there would be many people who are unemployed or underemployed. (Should College be Free) Although a student would not have to pay for a college tuition, they would not graduate debt free. They still may have to take out loans for housing, food, and books. College education should not be […]

Poverty and Crime

Poverty isn't the 'mother of crime.' However it is one noteworthy benefactor. Crime exists, since individuals need something they don't have, and are not willing to comply with the law(s) on the books to get it. What poverty does is, it decreases the things needy individuals have accessible to them, along these lines offering undeniably more things for needy individuals to want—and substantially more inspiration to them to carry out a crime to get it. Along these lines, more needy […]

Poverty in America

Poverty has been a ongoing, social issue that throughout the years has changed its meaning. Poverty is defined lacking basic necessities such as water, food, shelter, wealth, etc… About fifty years ago, war was declared on poverty by President Johnson hoping that it would end, but fast forward today, it is one of the biggest social issues America is dealing with. We don’t really know why poverty is still occurring, because the reasons seem to always be changing. The reasons […]

Poverty Life in the Industrial Age

Tenement Housing Tenement housing was cheap, unsanitary, and extremely crowded. They were placed by factories, so the air and water became very polluted and unsafe because of all the fumes and such from the factory. Most didn’t have indoor plumbing or proper ventilation which caused tons of health issues. At night the only light they had was from the streetlights so of course the only level of the housing that had light was the level that was level with the […]

Poverty and Homelessness in America

Poverty and Homelessness in America is a daunting subject which everyone recognizes but do not pay attention to. A homeless person is stereotypically thought to be a person who sleeps at the roadside, begging for money and influenced by drug with dirty ragged clothes and a person who is deprived of basic facilities in his or her life such as; education, electricity, proper clothes, shelter, water with a scarcity of balanced diet is termed as person living under the line […]

Comparing Social Determinant and Prevalence of HIV/AID in Southern States (USA) and South Africa

Comparing Social Determinant and Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Southern States (USA) and South Africa HIV prevalence is an issue of concern, World Health Organization lists HIV among the most risk health problem across the globe. Like some killer diseases, the high rate of spread associated with HIV concern critical health determinants that vary across the globe. Notably, HIV infection varies along vulnerability and health determinants. Commonly noted vulnerable groups experience the problem with respect to gender, sex, age, economic […]

Poverty in Haiti: is there a Solution?

Abstract Haiti is a Latin American country that is often ignored. People do not hear much about it, except if a natural disaster such as the earthquake in 2010 happens. It was once the richest colony of the Caribbean and nowadays is known as the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere. Haiti has been facing a cycle of poverty since it became independent. Haiti’s location and deforestation have contributed to make the situation worse. More than half of the population […]

Causes of Poverty

Some causes of poverty in the United States are: unemployment, inflation, poor management of resources, government policies, debt, corruption, extreme weather, lack of control in local food, lack of access to education, mental illness ( lack of proper psychiatric care), diseases, automation, and overpopulation. Poverty is a pervasive human condition of being unable to obtain or provide a standard level of food, water and/or shelter. It exists in every country in varying degrees, and it is unlikely to disappear anytime […]

Impact of Poverty on the Society

This is a very challenging question because nearly every ""pressing problem or social issue"" has underlying factors and historical influences. So I will try to explain my understanding of these topics. There are two important lenses from which to consider this issue; first, from the individual circumstance and second, from specific community conditions. The inability of individuals to earn enough money to afford to meet their basic needs and maintain a healthy lifestyle is, in my opinion, the most pressing […]

Affordable Housing Takes on Poverty

Without affordable housing there will be a continuous increase in minorities which also leads to a higher poverty rate. Poverty is the state of being extremely poor. Affordable housing helps decrease poverty in many ways than one. Affordable housing fulfills a human’s basic need for shelter as well as provides privacy for families. Those who receive affordable housing assistance and have children, benefit from better nutrition. Affordable housing would reduce poverty and should be available to those who are in […]

Self Concept

In various African countries, ladies are still not equal in law to men. Even where they are lawfully equal to men, it is collective for decisions to be taken by male heads of families or male local superiors as well as leaders. It is frequently the case that customarily women have fewer or no rights of inheritance. This leads to hitches accessing finances or land. With deprived access to childcare amenities or health besides support services in many districts, caring […]

Living in Poverty and being Rich

  Poverty is such a simple word, but it is so complicated at the same time. The vast majority of individuals will not fully comprehend the real implication of poverty just by reading its literal meaning from the dictionary, but by learning from their surroundings and experiencing hardship itself. Defining poverty can be being poor financially but is also defined as a comfortable way of living as well as spiritually too. What does it mean actually to be poor? Most […]

Poverty and Obesity

It is a known fact that the individual exert influences on the environment and vice versa. However, no man is an Island and as such, these influences reflect through various levels of social and interpersonal relationships. The social environment of the individual include interaction with peers, friend and family members, through such mechanism as role modeling, social support and social norms (Mary, Karen, Ramona, Karen .Annu. Rev. Public Health 2008.Creating Healthy food and Eating Environments, para 2). The physical environment […]

War on Poverty

When the first poverty census was done in 1959, the poverty rate was at 22.3%. There was rapid decline until 1973, when the poverty rate was down to 11.1%, however that is the lowest it has been since the census began. The decline was partly due to ‘War on Poverty’ programs that began in 1964 under the order of President Johnson, which began with the Social Security Amendments of 1965 that created Medicare and Medicaid. These programs gave widows, disabled […]

A Problem Child Poverty and Effects on Education

“The impact of poverty on a child’s academic achievement is significant and starts early,” – Jonah Edelman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Stand for Children (Taylor, 2017). According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015, around 20 percent of children in the U.S. lived in poverty (Taylor, 2017). Rather than focusing all our time, attention, and resources on rewriting standards and adding higher stakes standardized tests, are we missing a larger looming issue? Studies have shown that student poverty […]

Reducing Homelessness in the United States

As many as 3.5 million Americans are homeless each year. Of these, more than 1 million are children and on any given night, more than 300,000 children are homeless [5]. Many have been thrust into homelessness by a life altering event or series of events that were unexpected and unplanned for. Contrary to the belief that homelessness is primarily the result of major traumatic events or physical and mental disabilities, there are many top causes of homelessness in America. Since […]

Poverty in the United States

Poverty is a major issue in our world today, it is when people are not able to afford a minimum standard of living to survive. Poverty is the removal of financial stability to afford necessities. Bill Fay, veteran journalist defined poverty as a pervasive human condition of being unable to obtain or provide a standard level of food, water, and shelter. In 2015, a study was done and reported that 60% of people will experience at least 1 year of […]

Breaking the Poverty Trap

One of the reasons the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, is because of the lack of not knowing and ignorance hindering half the world, allowing the cycle of poverty to continue. Poverty trap is as a spiraling mechanism, that forces people to remain poor binding many to no hope of escaping. The poverty trap has been an ongoing cycle within generations even those close to me, that has tremendously taken a negative toll on society and my […]

Feminization of Poverty

The Role of Gender and Feminism In The Abortion Caravan Movement Part 1 The struggle to provide clear laws surrounding abortion is an ongoing issue not only in Canada, but all around the world. In Canada, the issue has shifted from whether or not abortion should be legal to whether or not women should be granted the freedom to choose the procedure for reasons other than medical necessity. What instigated this national debate in Canada was the Abortion Caravan movement […]

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Essay About Poverty It has existed for many years and still exists today, growing and intensifying. Today poverty remains one of the biggest. In Singer’s essay “The Solution to World poverty,” he suggests the Americans should donate all their money that is not required for necessities to help feed those that are less fortunate. This claim is not true due to the fact that Singer fails to mention how much people struggle and suffer from poverty in America alone, people worked hard for their money; therefore, they deserve to spend their hard-earned money, and how the economy depends on the Americans expenses, so if people don’t spend money on expenses, the economy will crash. Singer begins by comparing Dora, the woman who sells an orphan for a new television set. Singer then introduces Bob and how he chooses to save his expensive Bugatti from a train instead of saving a child’s life, he compares this story to Americans and their lack of donation and aids and how we “too have opportunities to save the lives of children” (2). In his essay, Singer’s aim is to target all Americans, implying that everyone should donate and help. But what he fails to mention is how even in America people also struggle and suffer from poverty. In the journal “Poverty in America: Trends and Explanations,” Hilary W. Hoynes, Marianne E. Page and Ann Huff Stevens state, “The official poverty rate is 12.3 percent, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 estimates. That year, an estimated 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure. 18.5 million People reported deep poverty, which means a household income below 50 percent of their 2017 poverty threshold. These individuals represented an estimated 5.7 percent of all Americans and 46.7 percent of those in poverty.” There are so many people in America who are also in need, people that are also suffering. There are without work and without insurance, people whose homes are lose to fires, storms, and bankruptcy. The idea that individuals must help their own first before helping others is reasonable and rational. Though it could be great to help all those in need, American should aid their own first and end poverty in their own country before helping to others for there are times when it is just not possible. 

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203 Poverty Essay Topics & Examples

Poverty is one of the most pressing global issues affecting millions of individuals and communities worldwide. We want to share some intriguing poverty essay topics and research questions for you to choose the titles of your paper correctly. With the help of this collection, you can explore the intricate dimensions of poverty, its causes, consequences, and potential solutions. Have a look at our poverty topics to get a deeper understanding of poverty and its implications for societies, economies, and human dignity.

🧸 TOP 10 Poverty Essay Topics

🏆 best poverty essay examples, 👍 catchy poverty research topics, 🧐 thought-provoking poverty topics, 🎓 interesting poverty essay topics, ❓ research questions about poverty.

  • Root Causes of Poverty.
  • The Cycle of Inter-generational Poverty.
  • Poverty and Gender Inequality.
  • Child Poverty.
  • Poverty and Health Disparities.
  • Poverty Alleviation Programs.
  • Informal Economy and Poverty.
  • Urban Vs. Rural Poverty: The Distinct Challenges and Solutions.
  • The Global South and Economic Inequality.
  • Environmental Justice and Poverty.
  • Drug’s, Poverty’s and Beauty’s Effects on Health Some serious health outcomes emanate from frequent consumption of drugs, poverty, and a stringent adherence to the global trends of beauty.
  • Effects of Divorce and Poverty in Families In the event of a divorce children are tremendously affected and in most cases attention is not given to them the way it should.
  • Problem of World Poverty One does not know if it is indeed possible to exhaustively satisfy the meaning and come up with one definition of the term poverty.
  • Immigrant Children and Poverty Immigrant child poverty poses considerable social predicaments, because it is related to several long lasting school and development linked difficulties.
  • Effects of Poverty on Education in the USA Colleges It is clear that poverty affects not only the living standards and lifestyle of people but also the college education in the United States of America.
  • The Issue of World Poverty and Ways to Alleviate the Poverty in the World Poverty is defined as the state of deficiency of a certain amount of material wealth or money. World poverty figures have been rising since the second half of the 20th century.
  • Poverty Effects on an Individual People work hard to meet their needs. However, this does not necessary mean escape from poverty. Poverty can cause extensive damage on one’s life.
  • “Degrading Consequences of Poverty in “”The Pearl”” by John Steinbeck” Poverty is identity in John Steinbeck’s The Pearl, and the main character Kino, a poor fisherman, manifests a transformation in his identity,

  • Global Poverty and Nursing Intervention It is evident that poor health and poverty are closely linked. Community nurses who are conversant with the dynamics of the health of the poor can run successful health promotion initiatives.
  • Inequality in Australia: Poverty Rates and Globalism The Australian government will have to take a range of specific measures to address the inequality issue in the realm of the Australian economic and financial environment.
  • Poverty in “I Beat the Odds” by Oher and Yaegar “I Beat The Odds” is the story about Michael Oher’s rise from rags to riches. The theme that comes out strongly in the book is poverty.
  • The Government of Bangladesh: Corruption and Poverty This paper describes how constitutional, economic, educational, and legal reforms can eradicate absolute poverty and corruption in a developing country such as Bangladesh.
  • Poverty in “Serving in Florida” and “Dumpster Diving” “Serving in Florida” by Barbara Ehrenreich describes the harsh reality of living in poverty while concentrating on the pragmatic dimension of the issue
  • The Eliminating Poverty Strategies The United Nations measures poverty based on factors such as health, education, hunger, shelter, and availability of utilities.
  • School System: Poverty and Education This short assessment presents at least three examples of differences between the schools that lead to disadvantages in the education system and finally provides a suggestion to help bridge the gap.
  • How Poverty Affects Early Education? A number of people live in poor conditions. According to the researchers of the Department of Education in the United States, poverty influences academic performance in an adverse way.
  • Poverty in the “LaLee’s Kin” Documentary In this paper, the author will analyse poverty as a social problem in the Mississippi Delta. The issue will be analysed from the perspective of the documentary “LaLee’s Kin”.
  • Affordable Housing Programs in “Poverty in America” The documentary “Poverty in America” filmed in 2017 aims to analyze the real situation with affordable housing programs in the United States.
  • Poverty and Violence During the Mexican Revolution The Los Olvidados movie, The Plain in Flames by Juan Rulfo, and the mural art of that decade attest to the failure of the Revolution to resolve Mexico’s persistent problems.
  • The Orthodox and Alternative Poverty Explanations Comparison Poverty has over the years become a worldwide subject of concern for economies. This essay will explore two theories- the orthodox and the alternative theories to poverty.
  • Poverty in “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner Essay “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner evokes compassion and prompts individuals to think about social problems existing nowadays.
  • Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Poverty Be it through the sexual enslavement of girls or trafficking of males for forced labor, slavery has had a tremendous impact on modern society.
  • Poverty in “The Bottom Billion” by Paul Collier Paul Collier’s “The Bottom Billion” is an in-depth study of the financial plight of the world’s poorest countries. It analyzes the incidence and provides remedies to the issue.
  • Utilitarianism: Poverty Reduction Through Charity This paper shows that poverty levels can be reduced if wealthy individuals donate a part of their earnings, using the main principles of the utilitarian theory.
  • Poverty and Welfare Policies in the United States The poverty is the United States is a primary problem. If the economic growth of the 1970s continues, until 1980s the number of poor families would be significantly lower.
  • National Conversation about Poverty The success of every society is determined by values, cultural practices, and tendencies that can address the hurdles affecting its people.
  • Child Poverty Assessment in Canada Child poverty is not only the problem of children but also a threat to the development of a country. In Canada today, every fifth child is estimated to be affected by poverty.
  • Brazil’ Poverty and Inequality Poverty in Brazil has been unresponsive to growth due to the challenges of eliminating inequality. The poverty eradication programs reduced the poverty rate.
  • Grameen Banking System Alleviating Poverty This paper discusses various aspects of the Grameen banking system and focuses on how it has assisted communities, and evaluate its future success.
  • Can Marriage End Poverty? Marriages to some degree alleviate poverty, but not all marriages can do so. Only marriages build on sound principles can achieve such a feat.
  • Household Energy Use and Poverty In many developing countries, as well as among disadvantaged populations of the industrial states, the lack or absence of energy for household use is an everyday reality.
  • Standards of the Ethical Code: Children and Poverty The research that will be done will focus mainly on children and poverty.  It seeks to study how poverty affects children development.
  • Poverty Among the USA Citizens and Reduction Efforts This essay presents a letter about the problem of poverty among U.S. citizens and offers the steps that should be taken to improve the situation.
  • Poverty: “$2.00 a Day” Book by Edin and Schaefer In their book “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” Edin and Schaefer investigate problems that people who live in poverty face every day.
  • Poverty from a Sociological Standpoint Poverty is a complex phenomenon, in which many explicit and implicit factors are involved. Some individuals tend not to perceive this phenomenon as critical.
  • World Poverty as a Global Social Problem Poverty and the key methods helping to reduce it attract the attention of numerous researchers in different areas of expertise.
  • Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty” Book Henry George was a renowned American economist, who introduced an innovative perspective on the role of technology in the economy.
  • Poverty and Homelessness: Dimensions and Constructions With the growth of the economy and the failure of employment, the number of people living in poverty and without shelter increases.
  • The Concept of Poverty This work is aimed at identifying the key aspects associated with poverty and its impact on the lives of people in different contexts.
  • Poverty as a Social Problem Society often perceives poverty as an individualistic issue, believing that it is a consequence of bad decisions.
  • Donald Trump’s Policies of Poverty and Human Rights One of the events related to an acute social issue of poverty in the United States involves the U.N. report on extreme U.S. poverty and human rights in the context of Donald Trump’s policies.
  • Poverty from Functionalist and Rational Choice Perspectives Poverty is a persistent social phenomenon, which can be examined from both the functionalist and rational choice perspectives.
  • Poverty and Inequality Reducing Policies in China China has used several instruments to shape its culture and economy. The essay proposes several policy options that can be used in China to reduce inequality and poverty.
  • India’s Policies to Tackle Poverty and Inequality This paper aims to identify potential policies in infrastructure and education and develop new options to deal with poverty and inequality in India.
  • Global Poverty, Inequality, and Mass Migration Such global issues as poverty and inequality and mass migration are significant today since many people are involved in them.
  • Poverty in New York City and Media Representation This paper will analyze recent news publications regarding the urban issue of poverty in NYC and determine how the city is represented in the media.
  • Social Policy and Welfare – Poverty and Deprivation Poverty is a kind of deprivation where in usual needs that define the quality of life such as food, clothing, shelter and water are not given to people.
  • Economic Development in LDCs and Sufficient Conditions to Eradicate Absolute Poverty Since the ratio between the rich and the poor and the wealth gap have to be considered as well, GDP fails to accurately convey the wellbeing of the people of the country.
  • Urbanization and Poverty in “Slumdog Millionaire” Film Boyle’s movie, “Slumdog Millionaire,” is one of many successful attempts to depict the conditions in which people who are below the poverty level live.
  • Economic Development in LDCs and Eradication Absolute Poverty The current global and energy financial crisis have badly impacted on the LDCs who lack the requisite resources to withstand shocks from natural and human crisis.
  • Poverty and Homelessness in Canada Poverty and homelessness figure prominently in government policies and the aims of many social service organizations even in a country like Canada.
  • How Poverty Impacts on Life Chances, Experiences and Opportunities for Young People The paper specifically dwells on the social exclusion, class, and labeling theories to place youth poverty in its social context.
  • Poverty in America: Issue Analysis The paper is intended to work out the problem of poverty existing in the US, so that to analyze the factors which contribute to the issue of such negative characteristic in social life.
  • “Globalization, Poverty and Inequality” by Kaplinsky Global trade is likely to offer benefits to the partaking countries; mainly trade presumptions are anchored in the supposition of full employment.
  • Are MNCs Responsible for Poverty and Violence in Developing Nations? MNCs play a big role in the development of economies in developing countries, and they are responsible for much of the poverty and violence in some developing countries.
  • “Combating Poverty in Latin America” by Robyn Eversole Poverty elevation is the duty of governments, which unfortunately has been a weak area in Latin American countries.
  • Vicious Circle of Poverty In this essay, the author describes the problem of poverty, its causes and ways of optimizing the economy and increasing production efficiency.
  • Gay and Poverty Marriage The institution of family and the issues of marriage play a crucial role in society today. Marriage status determines relations between spouses and their relations with the state.
  • Trade Effect on Environmentalism and Poverty This is a research paper about the effect of trade on the environment and the way in which trade has contributed to the improvement of living standards.
  • Poverty Relation With Immigrants Poverty-related immigration is usually caused by population pressures; as the natural land becomes less productive due to the increased technology and industrial production.
  • Reduction of Poverty in the Rural Areas Through ICT ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology and covers all information processing tools. ICT will be of great importance both for society and for the country.
  • Is Debt Cancellation the Answer to World Poverty? There is no doubt that debt cancellation is one of the single effective approaches to poverty eradication, perhaps more effective than development aid.
  • The U.S. Education: Effect of Poverty Poverty effects on education would stretch to other aspects of life and this justifies that, poverty in United States not only affects social lifestyles but also college education.
  • Marriage and Divorce: Poverty Among Divorced Women This paper aims at looking into the possible connection between divorce and poverty among women given that many women are employed and are financially independent.
  • Poverty Elimination in Perspective Poverty is a subject that has been on the world’s development agenda since time immemorial. This essay explores the possibilities of eliminating the poverty menace.
  • Aid Agency Discussing Different Solutions to Poverty in Urban Areas Urban poverty is a nightmare most cities, governments and local authorities are facing the world over. Some effects of urban poverty 1) Crime 2) Toll on Economy.
  • Attitudes to Poverty: Singer’s Arguments Singer argues against the observation by the rich than helping one poor person can repeat over and over again until the rich eventually becomes poor.
  • Federal Poverty, Welfare, and Unemployment Policies In the paper, the federal policies regarding the above mentioned areas of public interest will be scrutinized and discussed at length.
  • Global Poverty and Human Development Poverty rates across the globe continue to be a major issue that could impair the progress of humanity as a whole.
  • Poverty: Causes and Reduction Measures Poverty is a global disaster and that a large percentage of the population has insufficient income or material possessions to satisfy their basic needs.
  • The Poverty as an Ethical Issue Looking at poverty as an ethical issue, we have to consider the fact that there are people who control resource distribution, which then leads to wealth or poverty in a community.
  • Speech on Mother Teresa: Poverty and Interiority in Mother Teresa Many see Mother Teresa as a saint due to her compassion, contributions to charity. She was born in 1910 in Skopje, traveled to many countries as a Catholic missionary.
  • Sociological Issues About Social Class and Poverty, Race and Ethnicity, Gender The aim of this paper is to describe different sociological issues in the USA, such as social class and poverty, race and ethnicity, gender, etc.
  • The Cost of Saving: The Problem of Poverty The problem of poverty remains contributing to the drop in the quality of life, life expectancy, and overall well-being of a major part of the American population.
  • Poverty in Young and Middle Adulthood According to functionalism, poverty is a dysfunctional aspect of interrelated components, which is the result of improper structuring.
  • The Link Between Poverty and Criminal Behavior Both deviance and crime represent a deviation from societal norms but become separated only by the degree of nonconformity to acceptable behavior.
  • Changing the Face of Poverty While the essay’s primary focus is poverty, some of the points could apply to other spheres with false representation.
  • American Dream and Poverty in the United States The concept of the American dream and its component has changed over the years and remains different for different people.
  • Global Poverty and Education Correlation This paper aims to reflect the element of education in eliminating global poverty and the role of poverty in hindering education.
  • Carl Hart’s Talk on Racism, Poverty, and Drugs In his TED Talk, Carl Hart, a professor of neuroscience at Columbia University who studies drug addiction, exposes a relationship between racism, poverty, and drugs.
  • Poverty and Its Effects Upon Special Populations Since special populations have mostly restricted access to essential resources, poverty has especially drastic effects on the quality of their lives and their overall well-being.
  • The Problem of Poverty in Art of Different Periods Artists have always been at the forefront of addressing social issues, by depicting them in their works and attempting to draw the attention of the public to sensitive topics.
  • Empowerment and Poverty Reduction The objective of this essay will be to highlight the health issues caused by poverty and the strategies needed to change the situation of poor people through empowerment.
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  • Global Poverty: Tendencies, Causes and Impacts This paper aims to examine poverty globally, including definitions, related facts and tendencies, its causes and impacts, associated issues, and potential solutions.
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  • “Promises and Poverty”: Starbucks Conceals Poverty and Deterioration of the Environment “Promises and Poverty” talks about Starbucks’ working practices that promise good coffee with a better quality of life but conceal poverty and deterioration of the environment.
  • The Ideal Society: Social Stratification and Poverty The paper argues social classes exist because of the variations in socioeconomic capacities in the world; however, an ideal society can eliminate them.
  • Wealth and Poverty Sources in America This paper explains the causes and consequences of poverty in the United States, programs and systems to combat it, and government benefits to support families in distress.
  • Solving the Problem of Poverty in Mendocino County Poverty is among the major areas of needed improvement in Mendocino County, the adult and children are affected by the inability to cover basic expenses.
  • How Access to Clean Water Influences the Problem of Poverty Since people in some developing countries have insufficient water supply even now, they suffer from starvation, lack of hygiene, and water-associated diseases.
  • Relationship Between Poverty and Health People in 2020 Poverty affects the health of individuals in that it leads to limited access to income, making the poor socially isolated and have few educational opportunities.
  • Hard Questions About Living in Poverty or Slavery The paper aims to find the answers to several questions, for example, how to remain human while living in the conditions of extreme poverty or slavery.
  • Poverty Among Blacks in America Poverty is a major social problem in the US and disproportionately affects the Black ethnicity leading to adverse effects on their quality of life.
  • Lessons Learned From the Poverty Simulation The main lesson learned from the poverty simulation is that poverty is far more serious than depicted in the media, which carelessly documents the numbers of poor people.
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TOP-5 Poverty Research Topics

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Fighting Poverty

Introduction.

Poverty is defined as the general scarcity of any material possession or money. It is a multidimensional concept and encompasses the social, political, and economic status of an individual. The concept of poverty is dynamic and it may differ in each society. For example, in India, a person is considered as poor if he earns below 47 INR in an urban city, whereas not having a mobile phone is a sign of poverty in U.K. Poverty in the society arises from the difference in the income and opportunity. Just and equitable policies can be helpful in uplifting the standards of the poor in the society.

Measures to fight Poverty

Almost half the world that is over three billion people lives on a marginal income of less than $2.50 per day. The marginal income makes survival impossible; it is insufficient to cover for the basic necessity of food, clothing, and shelter. One of the measures that can be adapted to encounter poverty is food security. Inadequate food forces people to desperate measures, if the government can design policies to provide food in minimum prices to the poor, it can give them an opportunity to use their income to provide for the other basic necessity.

Another measure to fight poverty is by generating more employment. The people beyond the poverty line are uneducated and make up for the unskilled labor population of the country. Both public and private investments can be helpful in generating more employment for the population of the unskilled labor. Another policy that can be adopted is to provide a minimal training to teach some skills to the labor and make them employable.

Poverty makes people suffer psychologically. The difference in the opportunities and income that they witness around themselves makes a psychological impact on the poor. The government should focus on their health and wellbeing. Providing for the health and medical facility at the minimal cost to the poor section of the society helps in fighting poverty.

Fighting poverty is difficult as the poor cause poverty. They do not adapt to the opportunity that comes to them and often prefer not to work. They rather follow the antisocial ways of raising money than being employed. The thought process of the poor makes it difficult for the policies to help them out of their situation.

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Essays About Poverty: The Ways To Overcome It

essay about fighting poverty

All people know, that the poverty can be in the different country. It seems, that the life is impossible to be without poverty, because in the different country, even if it is very developed, there always be the place for the poor people. Their social status is very difficult and they do not have enough money for the needed things, which every person must have. For example, everyone must have where to live, what to eat and what to wear on. The reasons of the poverty can be different, but you should understand, that the ways of the solution of this problem can be always. If you wish to get more information about this issue, you can place the order on our site and to get the poverty definition essay right now.

The reasons of the poverty

  • The low salaries, which do not give the opportunity to earn enough money. If you have the low-paid job, you will be poor. If you lose your job, you will be poor. Only in the case you have the high-paid job, you will not be poor. Nowadays, there are a lot of ways how to make money on Youtube and you can find them.
  • You can be poor even if you earn a lot of money. The most important thing is also in the fact, that it is needed to know how to spend money correctly. You should have some money for the future and also to have money, which can bring you the new money, for example, you can have them in the bank.
  • The debts. All the debts will only increase your poverty, because of it, you need to do all possible to find the solution of this problem. If you wish to know more information about the poverty, you can order the world poverty essay and our coursework writers will be glad to help you.

Here you have checked the global reasons of the poverty, but also, it is possible to show some personal reasons of the poverty.

  • You think, that everyone should do something for you. You are not right. If you think, hat the country should give you the job, the money and the place for living, then you are wrong. You should be egoistic and live only for yourself. But it does not matter, that you do not need to communicate with the other people or do not help them if there is the need. You should understand, that it is your life and only you can change it. If, for example, you start to work on the job with the low salary, you should not wait, that you will get the salary of the director. If you wish to earn more money, you need to develop your skills and find the jib with the higher salary.
  • If you are lazy, you will always be poor. You need to spend a lot of time and your personal efforts to find the new job with the higher salary. But if you are lazy, you will work all your life on your old work and will be surprised because of the fact, that you are poor. The more poverty essays is possible to order on our site.
  • The only one place, where you earn money. A lot of people used to live in this order: wake up, go to work and in the evening do some homework. That is it. But they do not thing, hat it is possible to combine 2 jobs and earn more money. There are a lot of people, which would like to change their life, can combine 2-3 jobs at the same time. Yes, it is very difficult, but if you have some difficult situations, you have no choice. If you have more sources of money, it will be difficult for you to be poor.
  • The fear. If you are afraid of the future and you do not know what to do with your life, it is possible to say, that you always be poor. If you wish to reach something, you need to leave your personal zone of the comfort and you will be poor forever. Yes, it is very difficult to start something new, but if you are afraid of being poor, you need to change your life.
  • If you do not have the plan for the future, it will be impossible for you to reach your goals, because you will not know how to get them. For example, if you set the goal to increase your salary for the next year, it seems, that you will reach it. But if you do not have this goal, you will never reach it.
  • The problems with the alcohol. It seems very strange to find this information on this topic, but you should understand, that if you drink and after that you say, that you are poor, you need to ask yourself a question: “Did I do something, that let me drink the alcohol a few times per week?” You can spend the money, which you waste on the alcohol for purchasing some useful things.

As you can see, all the reasons of the poverty were mentioned. Now it is time to find the ways how to overcome it, because if you do not want to spend your whole life in the poverty, you need to change your life in the better way.

  • The low income. There are two ways how it is possible to overcome this factor. The first one is, that you need to improve your skills and to grow professionally. Then you will be able to ask for the higher salary. If your boss can see, that you will bring a lot of benefits to the company, you can be sure, that you will get the higher salary. The second way is to change your job. A lot of people can work in the different spheres or even move from one city to the other one, because they want to earn a lot of money.
  • You should value the money. It is funny, but a lot of people do not know how to spend your money correctly. They can purchase a lot of things, which they do not need, but they do it, because it is very fashionable. But if people calculate their budget, it will give the opportunity to save up to 40% of it.
  • You should not have any debts. If you take the money in the bank, you should be ready, that you will give a lot of money, because the price is too high.
  • We should overcome the poverty in our heads. We were born almost in the same conditions and all of us had the education. Our further future depends on us exactly. Some people have the plan of their future after the school, but some people need up to 10 years to understand, that they want to change their life. The same thing is with the poverty. Some people can overcome it in the shortest time, but some of them can deal with it up to 5 years.

You should understand, that only we are responsible for your future and it is up to us, which way we will choose to overcome the poverty. If you wish to order the global poverty essay, you can always do it on our site. You can be sure, that you will get all needed information and the result will exceed all your expectations.

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  • Ways to Fight with Poverty

Ways to Fight with Poverty - Essay Example

Ways to Fight with Poverty

  • Subject: Sociology
  • Type: Essay
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Pages: 3 (750 words)
  • Downloads: 2
  • Author: cydneytromp

Extract of sample "Ways to Fight with Poverty"

Poverty There are many definitions of poverty. For example, as defined by the World Bank, the “quantitative definition of poverty refers to the people who live on less than 1.25 US dollars per day” (Haughton & Khandker, 2009). Furthermore, poverty also refers to the lack of basic needs such as food, clothing shelter, water, sanitation facilities, healthcare, education, and others. These are “absolute definitions of poverty” (Lister, 2004). There are other ways to define poverty by labeling the least resource holders or income earnings people in the society as poor, regardless of whether or not they have the basic resources or fall into the income group defined by the World Bank. Relative poverty increases with increasing income inequalities. For example, the recent protests of “occupy Wall Street” and “99 percent” (Lister, 2004) define themselves as poor. However, the same is a relative measure of poverty (Haughton & Khandker, 2009). The poor in America or Europe may have access to the internet, food, education, housing, and other basic facilities may they may be earning very little income in comparison with the middle and lower class of the country. However, the poor in Africa are the people that are seriously malnourished, get a chance to eat only once or twice a week, are homeless, without any shelter, clothing, and sanitation facilities. Access to education, food, and housing like the European and American poor would actually end up making them “rich” (Lister, 2004). Sociologists describe “social categories” as groups of people who do not necessarily interact with each other but share similar and distinctive characteristics (Haughton & Khandker, 2009). The basic difference between a “social group” and a “social category” is the fact that within the former, the people interact with each other. The first social category, which is affected the most by this issue, is Africans. Most of the African countries rank the lowest in the list of countries by GDP, human development, social development, access to basic resources, and others (Haughton & Khandker, 2009). Furthermore, out of the 50 lowest ranking countries on UN least developed countries, 64 percent are in Africa. Out of every six children in Africa, one of them dies before reaching the age of five years, and diseases whose cure is well known cause most of these deaths to humankind. Unemployment ranges from 50-65 percent in most of these countries, average annual inflation peaks at over 30-40 percent, and every minute of every day, a child dies in sub-Saharan Africa due to measles whose vaccine costs as less as 1 US dollar per day. The prime reasons behind these concerning situations in Africa include lack of education, corrupt and incompetent government, lack of awareness within the public circles, lack of health facilities, prolonging wars, slavery, human trafficking, lack of resources, and others (Lüsted, 2010). Over the years, the issue of poverty has gained more and more attention all over the world. More and more developed nations and people have come forward to address these issues and ensure that an end could be put to the suffering of people all around the world. The United States claims to have sent more than 780 billion US dollars of aid to the African countries from 1950-1990 for the resolution of this issue (Haughton & Khandker, 2009). However, this aid did not have any long-term effect because most of this came back to the United States and other European countries because their political leader used those funds for buying deadly weapons. Observations have indicated that many NGOs and international organizations in the world are trying to eradicate poverty from the world. Despite this increased attention and efforts from the international community for the eradication of poverty from the world, the gap between the rich and poor is constantly increasing. In fact, in the recent past, due to the financial crisis, this gap has increased faster than ever. Fourth, the awareness, which comes with education, helps in educating the entire households about political, social, economic, and legal issues. Fifth, with an educated youth, these countries have better chances to find better future leaders.

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    Measuring Poverty. There has been marked progress in reducing poverty over the past decades. According to the most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 per cent of the world's population lived at or ...

  10. Poverty eradication

    Poverty eradication. The 2030 Agenda acknowledges that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The first Sustainable Development Goal aims to "End poverty in all its forms everywhere".

  11. Development and Strategies for Fighting Poverty

    Finding the poor Who are the poor? Suppose someone wants to help the poor. How would he find them? A part of the problem is inevitable: "poor" is an invented category, like tall or beautiful.

  12. 7 Ways You Can Help Fight Poverty in Your Community

    1. Challenge ideas and assumptions Whether you have preconceived notions about poverty within your community, or as a concept in general, it's important to challenge those assumptions so you aren't unintentionally spreading harmful biases. One common misconception, for example, is that people experiencing homelessness choose not to work.

  13. 383 Poverty Essay Topics & Free Essay Examples

    Cite Print Share 357 Poverty Essay Topic Ideas & Examples Updated: Aug 24th, 2023 29 min 📑 Aspects to Cover in a Poverty Essay Students who learn economics, politics, and social sciences are often required to write a poverty essay as part of their course.

  14. Poverty

    Changing the Face of Poverty Summary. Words: 515 Pages: 2 6473. In Changing the Face of Poverty the author, Diana George, begins with her annual food drive at St. Vincent de Paul, and every day she receives bills and catalogs with appeals like the Navajo Health Foundation, little Brothers, and many others. In those was Habitat for Humanity.

  15. 203 Poverty Essay Topics & Research Questions

    🧸 TOP 10 Poverty Essay Topics Root Causes of Poverty. The Cycle of Inter-generational Poverty. Poverty and Gender Inequality. Child Poverty. Poverty and Health Disparities. Poverty Alleviation Programs. Informal Economy and Poverty. Urban Vs. Rural Poverty: The Distinct Challenges and Solutions. The Global South and Economic Inequality.

  16. Fighting Poverty: A Problem Solution Essay Example

    Fighting Poverty Introduction Poverty is defined as the general scarcity of any material possession or money. It is a multidimensional concept and encompasses the social, political, and economic status of an individual. The concept of poverty is dynamic and it may differ in each society.

  17. Essays About Poverty: The Ways To Overcome It

    Blog Essays About Poverty: The Ways To Overcome It All people know, that the poverty can be in the different country. It seems, that the life is impossible to be without poverty, because in the different country, even if it is very developed, there always be the place for the poor people.

  18. Causes Of Fighting Poverty

    Fighting Poverty Half of the world's population lives on less than two dollars and fifty cents a day ("Quick Facts About Poverty). In a country where the vast majority of things cost more than a mere two dollars and fifty cents, that is a startling fact.

  19. Essay On Poverty And Violence

    Essay On Poverty And Crime 832 Words | 4 Pages. Poverty is defined as the state of being unable to fulfill basic needs of human beings. Poverty is the lack of resources leading to physical deprivation. Poor people are unable to fulfill basic survival needs such as food, clothing, shelter. These are the needs of lowest order and assume top priority.

  20. Ways to Fight with Poverty

    This essay "Ways to Fight with Poverty" discusses ways to fight poverty. First, the provision of education to all children is a long-term solution for the eradication of poverty. Investment in education creates an upward spiral of growth over many years…

  21. The Fight Against Poverty Around The World

    One of the most important steps in the fight against poverty around the world is the creation of jobs. The most competitive and successful in this direction is the social entrepreneurship. The task of the social enterprises is to contribute to the solving of the social problems and promoting of the people 's livelihood.

  22. Fighting Poverty

    According to the Webster's New World Dictionary, the word "poverty" can be defined as: 1) the condition or quality of being poor 2) deficiency; inadequacy 3) scarcity (Webster's p.461). Generally in this essay, we will examine the facts that lead to the poverty of these third world and southern countries.…

  23. Cause and Effect Essay

    Cause and Effect Essay. Fighting Poverty. Poverty is defined as the general scarcity of any material possession or money. It is a multidimensional concept and encompasses the social, political, and economic status of an individual. The concept of poverty is dynamic, and it may differ in each society. For example, in India, a person is ...