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What works to reduce extreme poverty? A selective review – working paper

A selective review of what works to reduce extreme poverty in five countries, undertaken as part of DEEP's inception phase.

As part of the inception phase of DEEP we have undertaken a selective review of ‘what works’ to reduce extreme poverty in five of these countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania. First, we want to understand what has already been done so that we do not duplicate existing work. Second, we want to identify gaps where new work would be of value. Third, we want to create a global public good – a resource that can be used by FCDO and others.

We begin with a summary of poverty concepts and conceptual frameworks to identify an organising structure for our review. We then describe how we undertook this review: how we searched and how we decided which studies to include and which to exclude. Section 4 provides an overview of what we found, disaggregating studies both by country and whether the studies look at ‘what worked’ in terms of social protection, interventions that directly increased household asset holdings, and interventions that sought to increase returns to assets. On a country-by-country basis, we then summarise the literature we found. The last section, Section 10, summarises the review.

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