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Despite the growing consensus that poverty is multi-dimensional and complex, a lot of research is based on using approaches and methods that cannot capture a full picture. To deepen the understanding of poverty, much research needs to be multi-disciplinary and involve a mix of quantitative, qualitative and participatory approaches.

This toolbox provides a guide to the variety of approaches and methods available and how they can be mixed to produce both rigorous and policy relevant research. Through identifying further resources (and especially websites) where you can explore methodological tools and issues in greater detail, the toolbox allows researchers to check that their research designs reflect ‘good practice’.

The CPRC Methods toolbox is available to download in full, or by sections below. The document contains links that can be accessed by viewing the Toolbox online.


Section 1  Overarching issues

  • The ethics of poverty research 
  • Including vulnerable groups in research (children and young people; impairment and disability; HIV/AIDS; older people; conflict)
  • Developing international research partnerships

Section 2  Approaches to research

Section 3  Designing research

  • Types of poverty-oriented research
  • Selecting a unit of analysis

Section 4  Research methods

Section 5  Analysing data

Section 6  Dissemination

Section 7  Impact assessment

Section 8  Resources



Who is the toolbox for?

The CPRC Methods toolbox is for CPRC research partners and their associates; poverty researchers, including those working in NGOs and CBOs; donor agencies; and universities and research institutions; students hoping to undertake poverty-related research.


How to use the toolbox

The toolbox should be considered as a set of resources within the context of particular research requirements. While the toolbox is not designed to be read through from beginning to end, short sections introduce each topic so readers are able to get a sense of the materials and approaches included.