Question A. What do Shepherd and Hulme mean by poverty and chronic poverty, and what does their view mean in terms of understanding how authors such as Cornwall and Brock or Kanbur approach debates on poverty reduction?
According to shepherd and Hulme poverty in their view is when a person is incapable of meeting their basic needs or has inadequate supply of basic needs which comprise of food shelter education and medical care (Hulme and Shepherd 16 ). However, this deprivation when it becomes persistent for over five years it becomes chronic poverty. The authors further reiterate that chronic poverty has some distinguishing features, one being the duration that the person stays in poverty where they stay for along time in the chosen poverty line, this people are likely also to pass on this poverty to their subsequent generations. Secondly, another set of capability deprivation used to distinguish chronic poverty is the nature of poverty and its multidimensionality encompassing variables such as literacy and other tangible assets, this therefore helps in understanding and presenting poverty as transient phenomena (Hulme and Shepherd 120).
Furthermore, chronic poverty can be distinguished by making analysis of an individual by tracking their life experiences, especially as a household. This is because in a household the members are most likely to experience the same level of poverty. However, demographic factors should be considered as a factor that could deprive a member of a household into chronic poverty. In addition, it is also possible to make a distinguishing assessment of chronic poverty in either relative or absolute terms. In most studies, absolute chronic poverty is given a lot of weight. Chronic relative poverty is much dependent on the country’s income distribution and many people would be unable to escape it (Hulme and Shepherd 210).
The five years period criterion is chosen because it is the most determinant of an individual’s life course in many cultures. Moreover, most research has five years gap period in which data is collected thus basing the study on a five years period. Shepherd and Hulme propose a five –tier categorization that should be used in the chronic poverty studies. The authors further indicate that the measurement for poverty should be in terms that include income, consumption, assets and nutrition or household level human deprivation index as indicators as a poverty score indicator. Thus, it could be easy to define those always poor as those whose poverty score is below the poverty line in all period. those usually poor, their poverty score in all periods is less than the defined poverty line but they are not poor in every period; churning poor are those whose poverty score is just around the poverty line although they are not poor in all the periods . occasionally poor are those whose poverty score is above the poverty line although they have experience at least a period in poverty; lastly, the never poor whose poverty score is always in all periods above the poverty line (Hulme and Shepherd 223).
The categories of poverty described above can further be aggregated into chronic poor which comprise of the always poor and usually poor categories, the transient poor which comprise of the churning poor and the occasionally poor and the non poor which comprise of the never poor to the wealthy. Chronic poverty studies usually concentrate on the always poor and the usually poor (Hulme and Shepherd 230).
The concept of poverty has been accepted as a deprivation in terms of varying capabilities, which include income, health, education, human, and civil rights, which are said to bare unique significance in terms of the economic growth and in come generation. Chronic poverty has been in most time assessed using income and consumption parameters data: in the spells approach which usually is concerned by the transition into and out of poverty and is used to overestimate transient poverty and estimates error when the object being analyzed is income and consumption.
The component approach is also concerned with the isolation of the permanent course of poverty from the transitory shifts and is usually measured by either by income or consumption tracked over a period. However, both the component and the spell approaches have very significant aspects that elucidate chronic poverty. In addition, these approaches are possible because there is the availability of plenty of quantitative data from the household surveys, demographic, census and health surveys in many poverty ridden countries. However, the asset and asset change has of late been on the focus (Hulme and Shepherd 240).
Multidimensional perspective of analyzing poverty has also been in application using a more qualitative research method; this concept of study chronic poverty that an individual deprived has very limited escape routs. This aspect of studying chronic poverty has been in most cases been measured at the national level by utilizing the human development index and other measurement indices.
In the chronic poverty studies the use of monetary poverty, as an indicator of chronic nutritional deficiencies and chronic low educational level is inadequate. This is because education and nutrition is determined by national policies. Therefore, these educational policies and nutritional policies are said to be interrupters of chronic poverty (Hulme and Shepherd 243).
According to Cornwall and Brock they try to analyze the function and actuality of empowerment, participation and poverty reduction is able to lead to a meaning full international policy development whose intervention could lead to a reduction of chronic poverty (Cornwall and Brock 144).
These terms as the authors found out became meaningful when they are enacted in the policy framework, in turn the policies influences those who work in the development to critically think of their undertakings. Therefore, participation, empowerment and poverty reduction when tied to accountability and governance cold ensure coherence in the fight against chronic poverty (Cornwall and Brock 464).
On the other hand, Kanbur disseminates the nature of disagreement that is emanating from the poverty reduction strategies being enacted by various agencies. he points out that there is discord in understanding the economic policy, distribution and poverty that are brought about by the perspectives and the policy framework that is between the donors and the civil societies on the three main features that is characterizing the time horizon, aggregation and market structure (Kanbur 120).
However, there are some areas of agreement that education and health outcomes are directly linked to income in the poverty assessment and therefore in the economic policies enacted. Moreover, empowerment and participation influences education, health and income and there is agreement in the area of the role that the international public goods play in poverty eradication (Kanbur 213). The differences in the institutions fighting poverty are viewed as the main obstacle towards poverty eradication. Therefore, when the nature of this differences is understood, it could help in the bridging the gap, for those in the intellectual end it could be better they take into the account all complications rather than deal with the convectional analysis alone (Kanbur 572).
On the other hand, those in the operational and the policy end should recognize and try to understand more legitimate alternatives opinions on the economic policy; they should also be very open and flexible in the policymaking and the implementation. This could bring coherence in the eradication of coherent poverty.
Question B. Amis, Ashley and Maxwell, and Shepherd/Hulme all address questions around ‘Chronic poverty’, but from quite different levels of analysis. What are the similarities and differences in their approaches?
QB.1 the similarities in their approach
According to Hulme and Shepherd, they try to give a comprehensive meaning of the chronic poverty. They provide information of the factors to consider before one is classified a chronically poor. Their approach to chronic poverty is more of understanding what it is and what leads to this chronic poverty. The authors also provide with measurements indices that can be used to measure poverty. Hulme and shepherd also explore the concepts of chronic poverty, where multidimensional aspect is also considered. All this is geared towards eradicating poverty where policies are (Hulme and Shepherd 130).
Amis also examines chronic poverty and puts more focus in the urban areas; he brings poverty from the rural perspective and indicates that both urban and rural are faced with conditions of chronic poverty. He indicates that household could be used as an indicator for chronic poverty. However, the urban housing could also be used as an asset whose change can also be observed as an indicator of poverty with time as also indicated by Hulme and Shepherd. Just as in the study analysis done by Hulme and Shepherd, Amis also view vulnerability to chronic poverty as influenced by demographic factors such as gender, age and health. Thus indicating HIV and AIDS as another factor that lead to chronic poverty as those orphaned can not take care of themselves and they end up migrating to the urban areas (Amis 13).
Amis also demonstrates the impact of dimensions on the incidence of chronic poverty in the urban areas citing out income and asset dimension, which relates directly to the lively hood and the labor market. According to Amis, he classifies this into two elements; those who cannot work such as elderly, children, sick, disabled and unemployed and the others are those who work but are still below the poverty line. In addition, human capital is also influenced by health. The social capital based on the incomers vs. the residents (Amis 19). Productive capital for those with productive assets, in this regard, the poverty indices used by Hulme and Shepherd are similar.
Additionally Ashley and Maxwell observe the rural development and the persistence of poverty despite a lot of effort and funding. Just like the studies done by Amis and that done by Hulme and Shepherd, Ashley and Maxwell concentrate on the factors leading to chronic poverty in the rural areas and the eradication efforts thus giving recommendations on how to deal with various dimensions of poverty in the rural areas (Ashley and Maxwell 399). Factor used as poverty indicators in the rural areas also include literacy, infant motility sanitation or access to health care with regard to the governments rural development policies there is always some bias in the provision of electricity, roads and telephone lines (Ashley and Maxwell 412).
There is also a noticeable interaction between demographic change and migration which is associate with the growth of mega cities and movement of people to areas of economic possibilities. Similar to other studies HIV/AIDS is also a major player that castigates the vulnerability of people to chronic poverty in the rural areas. As indicated the new poverty agenda that is aimed at eradicating poverty cites out the content policies to be made and the role of the state in the eradication of rural poverty. Thus developing five elements of the new paradigm that is the international development targets, the strategies for the reduction of poverty, role of the new technology in the rural poverty eradication and the result based evaluation and rewards (Ashley and Maxwell 420).
This agenda is very vital to the rural development for it brings out clear objectives and gives out an approach to poverty eradication, which is the course that Hulme and Shepherd, Amis and Ashley and Maxwell all in their approach try t figure out ways in which poverty can be eradicated in their areas of study. Their prime similarity is the object of their target, which is chronic poverty understanding and eradication.
QB 2 Differences in their approach
The approach mode taken by Hulme and shepherd concentrated on the understanding of poverty and human deprivation. In addition, an important aspect that is by disaggregating the poor and making a comprehensive examination of various factors and combinations of these factors that lead to poverty for different people without citing out particular or special area of study. However, they concentrated on the general components of poverty particularly the chronic poverty which is high likely to be transmitted to subsequent generation regardless of the location of the people affected by this poverty. Their approach also sought to develop a framework for analyzing chronic poverty (Hulme and Shepherd 228).
Furthermore, they observe the conceptual advances that lead to a more sophisticated quantitative analytical techniques addition to innovative qualitative methods for poverty assessment. the main aim of this study is to allow a more understanding on the poverty dynamics in angles and thus lead to the development of policies and social actions that could be more effective in the poverty eradication and also ensure that those already affected or are under chronic poverty are not left out in the agenda of global development . Therefore, this knowledge is projected to be proceeded by action to ensure that poverty is completely eradicated (Hulme and Shepherd 312).
On the other hand, Amis concentrates with the poverty incidences in most urban areas around the world. He develops a working hypothesis that tends to characterize the urban chronic poverty. He observes and classifies incidences based on income and here he reiterates that there are those who can not participate in the labor market such as the elderly, children ,handicapped and the sick who become highly marginalized. In addition, there are those with the low level of human capital and thus cannot benefit from the labor market and economic growth (Amis 12). thus their remuneration is not sufficient to support them and their dependants .furthermore there are those who do not have support or someone to depend on ,others are unlucky, while others have limited productive assets and therefore the women are more disadvantaged in this whole urban context of chronic poverty incidence (Amis 18).
Therefore, this study brings out a supposition that chronic poverty should have an urban dimension with the view that the world is urbanizing and there by increasing the level of the low-income earners in the urban areas who are vulnerable to chronic poverty. He convincingly brings the approach to poverty eradication in the urban areas, which he cites, that could lead to the eradication of poverty in the subsequent areas (Amis 19).
However, Ashley and Maxwell looks at the rural development effort and the persistent rural poverty, they look at the food, agriculture and rural development citing out the challenges of the new thinking on poverty, participation and governance (Ashley and Maxwell 398). They confirm that poverty is not only an issue in the rural areas but that most of the poverty experience d is usually rural and the re is lack of willingness or there is negligence in other words to tackle poverty in the rural areas. Agriculture being the backbone of the rural economy, the decline in funds always applies to agricultural funding more than in any other economic sectors. However, they are more on rural poverty (Ashley and Maxwell 413).
Diversification of agriculture and environmental sustainability are one of the key approaches that the donors intend to use to fight poverty in the rural areas. Liberalization is also a factor to be considered although they have to think through the post implications cited in the post-Washington consensus on the risks of liberalization (Ashley and Maxwell 422). However, the main concern is the policies for institution development. Therefore, their studies were centered on the rural poverty eradication and factors leading to high poverty incidence in the rural areas and the implication of the development of the mega cities to the urban poverty incidence through migration.