Andrew Shepherd - Director, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, ODI
Tracy Shildrick - Professor, Social Futures Institute, Teesside University
Andrew Norton - Director of Research, ODI
Paul Wafer - Leader of the Poverty and Vulnerability Team, Growth and Resilience Department, UK DFID
Polly Toynbee - Columnist, The Guardian
Back in 2000, the United Nations committed to halve poverty by 2015. As we approach that date, with achievements in China making it possible for this target to be achieved, there are predicted still to be a billion absolutely poor people. Of these, the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) estimates nearly half a billion people are chronically poor – poor over long periods of time, perhaps their whole lives, and pass poverty onto their children. They will remain poor unless their specific plight is addressed, but they are usually forgotten in current efforts to eradicate poverty.
This event calls for urgency and seriousness in developing the responses which will tackle chronic poverty. It can be done: through social protection, human development, pro-poorest economic growth, and progressive social change towards the ‘good society’. Neglecting the chronically poor is not only morally unjust, but also has impacts on economic growth, as well as a state’s political legitimacy.
New key messages from ten years of research by the CPRC will be presented in this event, to reveal that tackling chronic poverty can be done but involves a somewhat different set of policies and programmes additional to the orthodox, internationally accepted set.
This event sets the discussion of international chronic poverty alongside a presentation of research findings on long term-poverty from one locality (Middlesbrough) in the UK – research from the Social Futures Institute at Teesside University, and which was part of the Joseph Rowntree Recurrent Poverty programme – which explores related themes, especially the ‘low pay-no pay’ cycle.