The polyscopic landscape of poverty research: “state of the art” in international poverty research

The polyscopic landscape of poverty research: “state of the art” in international poverty research

Overview of current poverty research trends

This paper discusses major trends in poverty research and identifies promising research results that might form a useful base for further research on causes, processes and formations of poverty in the South.

The report consists of four parts:

  • a polyscopic landscape of poverty research, outlining the directions that some of the major actors in poverty research have taken and points to some of the current trends in poverty research
  • a discussion of methodological issues involved in poverty research that need to be clarified if poverty research is to move ahead
  • a set of 6 in-depth studies where the more precise frontiers of research are elucidated in relation to specific arenas where poverty formation plays an important role. These arenas include:
    • poverty in Latin America
    • poverty in South Africa, 2000-2005
    • poverty and water
    • law and poverty
    • human rights
    • poverty and citizenship
  • a discussion of poverty reduction as a goal for poverty research, and inputs to a future agenda for poverty research. Included is a discussion on the potential for the involvement of Norwegian expertise in further research on poverty in the South

Through these case studies, the report draws 6 primary conclusions:

  • there is a great need for a scientific approach to poverty research
  • better use must be made of fragmented knowledge
  • poverty studies need increasingly to be comparative
  • independent and critical assessment of poverty research and its subsidiaries must be institutionalised
  • there is a need for studies on the choice of different concepts of poverty and the resultant consequences for the poor, and a need for a broad debate among poverty researchers on the moral justifications of their choices and the broader impact they might have, or not have, on poverty formation
  • methodological issues are of importance to further the scientific development of poverty research
  1. How good is this research?

    Assessing the quality of research can be a tricky business. This blog from our editor offers some tools and tips.