In a nutshell: POVERTY

It’s easy to talk about issues like poverty and assume that everyone understands what it means. In global development, there are numerous words and phrases which are used but perhaps not often explained. In our bimonthly newsletters, Tim Dunwoody (World Development Officer) has been taking taking a look at some of these terms and unpacking them for us so that we can better understand the issues.

We’re going to share this ‘In a Nutshell’ series here over a number of weeks, starting with POVERTY.


The World Bank sets ‘absolute poverty’ as living below $1.90per day.

‘Relative poverty’ is a person lacking the minimum funds for an average standard of living in their society.

If acknowledging dimensions of poverty beyond economics, e.g. health, education and aspirations, we might talk about the Human Development Index (HDI) e.g. Norway has an HDI of 0.949 whereas Central African Republic’s score is 0.352.

Poverty occurs in richer countries too where exclusion from active participation in society is the concern e.g. unemployment.

Basically, defining poverty can be complicated but poverty is certainly not just about money.

WDR sees poverty as a lack of freedom, opportunity and choice.

WDR’s work attempts to break chains, so people can be free to be as God intended them.


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