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Poverty Persistence and Transitions in Uganda: A Combined Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

David Lawson
Andrew McKay
John Okidi


This paper develops the current understanding of the significant variation in individual experiences of poverty movements, by combining qualitative and quantitative insights at the individual, household and community level. It builds strongly on earlier work by Okidi, with different authors, exploiting the available panel data sets for Uganda. The paper analyses panel data covering the 1992-99 period in combination with available qualitative information, notably the results of the two assessments conducted as part of the Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Process (UPPAP), to gain insights on the factors associated with poverty transitions and persistence. The qualitative sources add substantially to the information available from the panel survey data alone, by helping to identify key issues to investigate using the survey data and by providing important additional insights not available from the survey data, including about processes and contextual issues. This paper is structured as follows. In section 2 we briefly review general approaches to developing a dynamic understanding of poverty, including of persistent or chronic poverty. Building on this, we then consider in section 3 the available evidence from qualitative sources about the key factors and processes identified by communities and their members as lying behind their experiences of poverty transitions or non-transitions, which identifies some clear individual, household, community and local policy factors contributing to impoverishment in particular. Sections 4 and 5 then present descriptive and econometric analysis respectively using the panel data to consider the importance of different factors behind movements in monetary poverty, building on insights from the qualitative sources wherever possible. Section 6 concludes by seeking to synthesise the qualitative and quantitative insights, and then comments on the methodological scope for combining qualitative and quantitative insights in enhancing the understanding of poverty dynamics.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


poverty dynamics Uganda panel data

ISBN: 1-904049-37-0


Poverty Persistence and Transitions in Uganda PDF 297.5 KB

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