Moving Out of Poverty: The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India

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Deepa Narayan
World Bank Publications, May 13, 2009 - Social Science - 500 pages
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'To take birth as a poor man itself is a big punishment. We are facing many difficulties and there is none to support us. We cannot die also. ... Our condition is like applying perfumed oil to mustache when there is no food to eat.' - Male focus group discussion, Appipuram, Andhra Pradesh India has experienced accelerating growth in the last 10 years, yet millions of Indians remain mired in poverty. Why? Most books on growth and poverty reduction are dominated by the perspectives of policy makers and academic experts. 'Moving Out of Poverty: The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India' brings together the voices of poor men and women from 300 villages across Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, as it seeks to understand how these people have managed to escape poverty, while others remain stuck, and still others fall into poverty. The study explores the role of institutions such as family, markets and local panchayats, and factors such as aspiration, empowerment, social exclusion and conflict, health and asset accumulation, in explaining escape from poverty and falling into poverty.
 

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About the author (2009)

DEEPA NARAYAN is project director of a 15-country World Bank study, Moving Out of Poverty: Understanding Freedom, Democracy, and Growth from the Bottom Up. It builds on an earlier study also directed by Narayan, Voices of the Poor.
Formerly a senior adviser in the Poverty Reduction group of the World Bank, Narayan has over 25 years of development experience in Asia and Africa, working for nongovernmental organizations, national governments, and the United Nations system as well as the World Bank Group. Her areas of expertise include participatory development, community-driven development, and social capital, and the use of these concepts to create wealth for the poor. Recent publications include Moving Out of Poverty: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Mobility (World Bank, 2007); Ending Poverty in South Asia: Ideas that Work, co-edited with Elena Glinskaya (World Bank, 2007); and Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives (World Bank, 2005).

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