A rough guide to PPAs: an introduction to theory and practice

A rough guide to PPAs: an introduction to theory and practice

Does Participatory Poverty Assessment improve the effectiveness of poverty reduction policy?

This article takes a critical look at participatory poverty assessment (PPA) as a methodology and investigates the use of this methodology in various case-studies.

The article:

  • summarises key findings from recent experience
  • provides guidance on appraising at the country level whether a PPA might make a useful contribution to improving the effectiveness of poverty reduction policy
  • provides guidance to designing the process to ensure that the PPA will have a beneficial impact on policy
  • provides help in finding useful literature and technical assistance

Although the findings of the study vary from case-study to case-study (Uganda and Vietnam), there are a number of themes that can be identified:

  • a near-unanimous recognition that economic wellbeing in rural areas has improved over recent years
  • a strong demand for a greater range of opportunities to develop sustainable livelihoods, particularly those which reduce the dependence on landholdings of reducing size
  • a strong sense of vulnerability to both household-level and community level shocks, with ill health being the single most significant shock which poor households endure
  • identification of a range of coping strategies which households use to deal with hardship and shock, many of which can be destabilising for poor households in the longer term
  • a voiced concern about the lack of information about initiatives, plans and programmes which affect their livelihoods and a sense of alienation from decision-making processes
  • a number of issues related to intra-household inequity which highlight the vulnerability of children and women
  • a range of gender-related dimensions of illbeing

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