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Tracing the ‘War Against Poverty’ in Rural Ethiopia

since 2003 using a Complexity Social Science Perspective

Philippa Bevan


In this paper I argue that, during the next decade, the international development social sciences and policymakers and practitioners in the field would benefit from the mainstreaming of a complexity social science perspective, describing one use of the perspective for tracing the ‘war against poverty’ in rural Ethiopia and some of its consequences since 2003 when the first poverty reduction strategy was put in place.

In section 2 I describe what I mean by ‘complexity social science’ (CSS) and show how its metatheoretical foundations provide a particularly useful base for exploring and understanding processes of reproduction and change in developing countries, designing and implementing realistic and coordinated interventions, and monitoring, evaluating and adapting them as they proceed.

In Section 3 I describe the use of a CSS framework in the design and implementation of an ongoing donor?funded research project1 to explore the longer?term effects of all the development interventions which entered six rural communities in Ethiopia between 2003 and 2010, while in Section 4 I present some of the conclusions emerging from the interpretation and analysis process.

Section 5 concludes.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers


1 Tracing the ‘War Against Poverty’ in Rural Ethiopia PDF 671.7 KB

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