Placing poverty in context: a case study

Deepak Gopinath, Murali Nair

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    The “poverty-in-context” approach to understanding poverty is shaped by the needs and priorities of a particular context, and it can be used as the basis for identifying pro-poor projects in local strategies such as City Development Plans. A key argument for the introduction of the City Development Plans initiative (2007–2012) in India was to move away from national conceptions of and responses to poverty and to instead focus on engaging with local understandings of poverty. Through a case study of the City Development Plan initiative in Trivandrum, the capital city of the Kerala state in southern India, we argue that an understanding of poverty at the local level did not accommodate contextual needs and priorities; consequently, we develop a poverty-in-context approach based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with various stakeholders in the case study area. The article concludes by suggesting how in the future a poverty-in-context approach might be used to shape pro-poor policy in general and preparation of City Development Plans in particular.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-156
    Number of pages22
    JournalPoverty and Public Policy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


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