Index > Research themes > Concepts

CPRC Research themes

The Conceptualisation of poverty dynamics and persistent poverty theme recognised the need to deepen and sharpen the conceptualisation of chronic poverty and poverty dynamics, and to contribute to international debates while ensuring that the duration of poverty is firmly rooted in the conceptualisation, analysis and measurement of poverty.

CPRC's conceptual work draws on the Centre’s other research themes on poverty dynamics, the intergenerational transmission of poverty across generations and the influence of risk and vulnerability on present behaviour and future prospects.


Quantitaive and qualitative work (Q2) in this area has considered how chronic poverty can best be understood through measurement, ‘participatory’ research, and other approaches. We have provided evidence on how people become poor, escape poverty, or get caught in ‘poverty traps’. Our work also explains other concepts such as ‘ultrapoor’, intergenerational poverty, relative poverty, durable poverty. 

Innovative Q2 research by the CPRC have contributed to national poverty analyses in Bangladesh, Tanzania, and also in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda.

Bringing together our conceptual work was the workshop on Staying poor: chronic poverty and development policy held in Manchester on October 2006. Contributions from the workshop was published in the book Poverty Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

Some successes of our concepts research include establishing that persistently poor people are adversely incorporated and excluded economically, socially, politically. Also importantly, our research has moved dominant thinking on social protection (from the World Bank's Social Risk Management Framework in 2000), to a broader concept that social protection is a means to addressing chronic and extreme poverty

Key resources

What is chronic poverty?

Identifying and measuring chronic poverty

Causes of chronic poverty

Q2 Research

See more resources on the Concepts theme



Publication highlights

Poverty Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives



Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09 cover

The Chronic poverty report 2008-09: Escaping poverty traps

Chronic poverty report


The Chronic Poverty Report 2004-2005

Chronic poverty report


Theme leader

David Hulme
Institute for Development Policy and Management
Tel: +44(0)161 275 2800
Fax: +44 (0)161 273 8828