ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Poverty Lines versus the Poor

Is there any redemption for the poverty line approach? Despite its narrow focus, the incomepoverty line approach does yield some pertinent information on its chosen scale, but it is essentially one-dimensional and overlooks the multifaceted nature of human deprivation. This can easily lead to a superficial and misleading understanding of the nature and causes, as well as the cures of human poverty. The grave danger posed by the income-poverty line approach is that it inevitably leads to a misidentification of the poor, and subsequently to the adoption of targeting, monitoring and evaluation criteria which are equally narrow, thus carrying the many blind spots in the concept of deprivation into the operational phase of interventions.

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