An asset based approach for assessing poverty dynamics, poverty traps, and poverty-environmental relations in Nepal


Start date: 5 September, 2010 End date: 31 December, 2012 Project type: Smaller projects: Postdoc Project code: 10-109LIFE Countries: Nepal Thematic areas: Economic development and value chains, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Policy Brief: Policy Brief Project coordinator: Øystein Juul Nielsen Total grant: 233,120 DKK Project files:

Project summary

The project aims at contributing to the understanding of poverty dynamics in developing countries. The project focuses on developing an asset model that identifies types of poor with regard to their expected welfare status. The research is novel, as local perceptions of poverty and contributing factors associated with being or becoming poor are included in the model. The asset model aims at providing a more precise and perhaps more cost-effective method for measuring the welfare of individual households. The results are intended towards policy makers in Nepal and the development community at large. The research project also includes capacity building of PhD students from Nepal.


Project completion report:

The project aimed to examine economic mobility among Nepalese households - in terms of their value added (or loss) of assets over a period of 10 years (2001-2011). The aim was to identify specific types of poor - those who are chronically poor and those who may be poor but who has the capacity (in terms of e.g. education or social network) to work their way up the economic ladder. The policies are different for these two poverty types. For poor with sufficient capacity, it is important to have a social safety net to prevent them from falling deeper into poverty. For chronic poor, it is necessary to increase their capacity (by way of example, education). The research project could not, based on current results, identify chronically poor. This is due to a combination of economic growth, improvement in infrastmeture and access to education, and the international labor market. The research support the assumption that poverty is best characterized to be temporary by nature and that households are able to pursue their own interests when access to opportunities are available.

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