Poor people’s lack of voice and influence are globally recurring themes their own accounts of their poverty, and are indicative of their wider political disempowerment. This project evaluates attempts to tackle this core element of poverty through local governance reform. Its central research question is: to what extent do participatory initiatives within local governance enhance poor people’s opportunities for political empowerment?
Muslim children in India face lower mortality risks than Hindu children. This is surprising because Muslims have, on average, lower socio-economic status, higher fertility, shorter birth-spacing, lower autonomy amongst women, and are a minority group in India that, in principle, might live in areas that have poorer public provision. This project is motivated by this puzzle.
The international market in clothes has undergone radical transformations with the removal of trade barriers, a process that has had highly varied and unexpected consequences for workers' livelihoods. Poorer countries, such as India and China, are often seen to be benefiting from these labour-intensive export industries, but little is known about the changing livelihoods of those employed in booming export industries or about impacts on the surrounding rural populations.
Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been uneven. Poor and otherwise disadvantaged groups lag behind their more fortunate compatriots for most MDGs.To make things worse, effective interventions are known, but rarely reach those who need them most. Unfortunately, little is known about how to effectively reach poor and otherwise disadvantaged groups, and how to address socio-economic inequalities in mortality.
We know that gender matters for the incidence of poverty, ignorance and disease. In developing countries, boys tend to be favoured in access to schooling and health care. Women earn less than men and women also work longer hours than men. What are not understood so clearly however are the critical factors for determining resource allocation within the home.