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Poverty: dimensions, processes and interactions

Towards a New Understanding of Poverty

Multidimensional Approach

Nopoor advocates methods that lead to a deeper understanding of poverty and poor people’s vulnerability. Research focuses on non-monetary dimensions of people‘s wellbeing such as civil rights and accountability, inclusion or discrimination, as well as environmental concerns. Throughout the project, Nopoor ensures that the applied scientific methods are coordinated and mutually complementary. The researchers identify the gaps in current ways of measuring and understanding poverty and develop concrete indicators to enhance poor people’s capacity and participation in decision making processes.


Accountability of national governments is an important research dimension. Nopoor measures the access of poor people to public or collectively provided goods and services, in particular in the context of spatial or social segregation. The project further explores mechanisms and strategies, at both household and individual levels, that are likely to mitigate poor people’s exposure to chronic transitory food insecurity.


We reassess the usual concept of poverty in order to revise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), notably the first target of poverty eradication, and to improve and implement methods to better measure multidimensional poverty.

The outputs feed into tasks in other Nopoor research fields and policy implications will be exploited. It ensures that the methods used by NOPOOR are harmonized and mutually complementary. Building on recent poverty measurement progress (e.g. multidimensional index of poverty), we identify the gaps in and limits of existing indicators and we propose improvements to NOPOOR field work. We consider a set of methodologies (quantitative and qualitative) to be implemented by NOPOOR in a range of countries.

Methodologies which are implemented within this Nopoor research


  1. Review concepts used in poverty analysis by different approaches and their relevance in a policy-oriented approach, including for the coming revision of MDGs
  2. Propose better methods for analyzing the creation of poverty and the dynamics of poverty (longitudinal analysis, spatial comparisons, etc.)
  3. Analyze interactions between inequalities and poverty in a context of economic growth (revisiting the theory of pro-poor growth in a variety of contexts)
  4. Recommend new methods of data collection, especially for non-monetary dimensions of poverty. Produce new data from household surveys, including inadequately measured dimensions of poverty (human rights, discrimination, environmental context, etc.). Multipurpose surveys are included 


What is our work for this specific research ?



Research examples

Vietnam: Poverty dynamics and minorities
Why does policy fail to reduce poverty significantly among the ethnic minorities that are in most need of support? 

Peru: Consequences of residential segregation
Living in a polluted urban environment lacking security and public goods implies lower standard of living. Such circumstances contribute to pass on poverty from one generation to the next. To what extent are unequal opportunities that poor people face based on residential segregation? 

Senegal: Determinants and processes of transitory and chronic poverty
Which factors explain the state of a household in a situation of chronic transitory poverty?