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Income Generation and Poverty Reduction for Development 22 February 2010 Mekong Institute Khon Kaen, Thailand. Excerpted from Dr. Han-Dieter Bechstedt Presentation 2007. Development and Poverty (1). What is the relationship between development and poverty?. Development and Poverty (2).

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Income Generation and Poverty Reduction for Development 22 February 2010 Mekong InstituteKhon Kaen, Thailand

Excerpted from Dr. Han-Dieter Bechstedt Presentation 2007

development and poverty 1
Development and Poverty (1)

What is the relationship between development and poverty?

development and poverty 2
Development and Poverty (2)

1. Poverty means lack of development

2. Development means getting rid of poverty

3. Development can occur without poverty alleviation

4. Development implies wealth creation for some, social dislocation for others

5. It is the rich and powerful who decide about development

Development interventions are aimed at:
    • addressing the need of the target community,
    • improving the livelihood of target community,
    • enhancing the quality of the environment (or benign to environment)
  • These are well planned and implemented in accordance with the plan
  • BUT, why many development interventions turn out to be a failure?
Example 1:
  • Green Revolution Agriculture?
    • Green revolution was a movement to increase yields (rice, wheat, maize) by using:
      • New crop cultivars (HYV)
      • Irrigation
      • Fertilizers
      • Pesticides
      • Mechanization
    • Increased food production by 1,000+%
    • Common Assumption: Increased food production would improve food security situation in developing world
post green revolution problems
Post green revolution problems:
  • Not every farmer has access to: new varieties, fertilizers, irrigation, equipment, and pesticides.
  • If accessible, many farmers can’t afford these
  • Environmental issues: Salinization, drying up of aquifers, top soil erosion, soil nutrient depletion, pesticide resistant varieties
  • Distribution problem: poor transportation in many countries
  • Obviously, green revolution could not address the problems of: Complex Diverse and Risk Prone Agriculture & Smallholders farming systems
Example 2:

Small-scale Aquaculture in Thailand:

  • Small-scale integrated duck/fish system in Thailand: AIT Experience:
    • System functioned well during the project
    • once project was withdrawn most units were abandoned
    • because of the constraints in input supply and marketing eggs
poverty analysis 1 1
Poverty Analysis (1/1)

What is

poverty ?

How can we best define poverty?

poverty analysis 1 2
Poverty Analysis (1/2)

How best to define poverty?

  • Definitions given by official versus those by the poor themselves (example from Lao PDR)
  • Poverty as a multidimensional concept
  • Poverty definitions that focus on consumption, poverty lines
poverty analysis 1 3
Poverty Analysis (1/3)

Overall poverty situation, rural poverty

  • 1.2 billion people in the world consume less than a ‘standard’ dollar a day (‘dollar poverty’)
  • Asia and the Pacific Region accounts for roughly two thirds of the total poor
  • About 75% of the world’s dollar-poor work and live in rural areas
  • Poverty is disproportionately concentrated in the rural areas, between 80 and 90% of the poor are rural in all the major countries of the region.
poverty analysis 1 4
Poverty Analysis (1/4)

What are


of poverty?

poverty analysis 1 5
Poverty Analysis (1/5)

Dimensions of poverty

  • Lack of opportunities
  • Disempowerment
  • High level of risks

and vulnerability

poverty analysis 1 6
Poverty Analysis (1/6)

Who are the poor?

poverty analysis 1 7
Poverty Analysis (1/7)

Who are the poor?

  • Women, often part of female-headed households
  • Landless, or marginal farmers and tenants
  • Various indigenous peoples and internally displaced persons (example from Lao PDR, Vietnam)
  • Socially excluded people like the castes, victims of landmines, disabled, war veterans
  • Pastoralists and coastal fishermen

Those who live in the poorest places in the region with resource limitations:

  • Mountainous or hilly areas
  • Marginal and degraded lands
  • Rain-fed cropping areas
  • Many coastal areas
poverty analysis 1 8
Poverty Analysis (1/8)

What is the difference between absolute and relative poverty?

poverty analysis 1 9
Poverty Analysis (1/9)
  • Extreme poverty: income less than US$ 1 per day
  • GNP per capita: average material living standard of a nation’s people

What are the weakness of GNP per capita measurements?

poverty analysis 1 10
Poverty Analysis (1/10)

Weakness of GNP per capita measurements:

  • says nothing about the distribution of wealth between rich and poor
  • underestimates subsistence, entitlements and collective goods
  • overestimates what is commercialized, individualized, organized
  • inequalities within households remain invisible
poverty analysis 1 11
Poverty Analysis (1/11)

Relative poverty and relative deprivation

‘Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diets, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or at least widely accepted and approved, in the society which they belong. Their resources are so seriously below those commanded by the average individual or family that they are, in effect, excluded from ordinary living patterns, customs and activities.’

(Townsend 1979)

  • World Bank: US$ 14.40 per day (1985), official US income poverty line; calculated in terms of the minimum required to obtain what is needed to participate in the everyday life of US society
  • Amartya Sen: Poverty = inability to take full part in human society, resulting from lack of choices and capabilities rather than simply material living standards
poverty analysis 1 12
Poverty Analysis (1/12)


What is poor is different in different societies and different cultures, depends on traditions, value system as well as economic factors

poverty analysis 1 13
Poverty Analysis (1/13)

Who are the poor in your country and why are they poor?

(Working Groups)

poverty analysis 2 12
Poverty Analysis (2/12)

What factors have lead to poverty and marginalisation more recently?

poverty analysis 2 13
Poverty Analysis (2/13)

Factor that lead to poverty and marginalisation more recently

Major interacting factors contribute to the process of marginalization or impoverishment:

  • Anti-poor national policies (policies that favor urban areas, lowlands, export crops, industrial/manufactural development, taxation, weak social services; examples from Thailand, Lao PDR )
  • Land planning, land allocation
  • Conservation policies
  • Discrimination against traditional ways of cultivation (subsistence production, swidden agriculture)
  • Discrimination against ethnic minorities
  • Lack of participation in decision-making

Poverty is not endemic

Poverty is a discourse, a concept

poverty analysis 2 14
Poverty Analysis (2/14)

What means ‘Feminisation of poverty’?

poverty analysis 2 15
Poverty Analysis (2/15)

Women are making up an ever increasing share of the world’s poor as a result of recession and cuts in public spending

  • More women than men are poor
  • Poor women suffer more from capability deprivation than poor men
  • The severity of poverty is higher for women
  • Women face greater hardship in lifting themselves and their children out of the poverty trap
  • There are poor women even within non-poor families.