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Escaping Poverty Traps Conference

26th - 27th February, 2009
Washington, D.C. USA

BASIS Research Program on poverty, inequality and development



The conference responds to the challenge to USAID and other development assistance agencies to find mechanisms to connect the poor, especially the chronically poor, to economic growth. The Escaping Poverty Traps Conference will address crucial questions, giving special attention to agricultural growth opportunities found in the rural environments which are home to the vast majority of the world’s chronically poor.

The conference will convene a wide-ranging and stimulating group of researchers and practitioners. The conference will be framed by presentations of the Chronic Poverty Report, 2008/2009, USAID’s Affordable Food for All vision for meeting food challenge and Senator Richard G. Lugar’s discussion of new US legislative initiatives on agricultural development and foreign assistance.  Other conference highlights include: 

  • Discussions of innovative pilot programs that use novel savings and insurance instruments to crowd-in technology adoption and productive savings
  • Analysis of the relationship between growth and chronic poverty reduction
  • Case studies and analysis of social protection programs and efforts to make them economically productive
  • Prospects for redesigning food aid to improve its impacts on both source and recipient communities
  • Lessons on how to transfer productive assets to the poor and how to successfully incorporate marginal producers into input and output markets

The conference will close with a roundtable featuring leading individuals from governments, bilateral and multi-lateral donors, the private sector and members of the NGO and academic communities. Recommendations from the roundtable and other conference session will be combined into a final conference report on ways that USAID can deepen its approach to chronic food insecurity and poverty.

Speakers and schedule

Chairs and participants include:

Event website

Please visit the conference site

Meeting reports

  1. Andrew Shepherd’s presentation
  2. Chris Barrett’s presentation
  3. Saurav Bhatta’s presentation
  4. David Hulme’s presentation


This is just a small selection of the keynote presentations. A full schedule including links to all presentations and notes is available here


Resources and links

BASIS Conference webpage

BASIS Conference brochure