Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Why poverty - where next?

Time (GMT +01) 10:00 11:30


Nick Fraser - BBC series producer, Why Poverty series

Adam Askew - Special Projects Manager, Comic Relief

Leni Wild - Research Fellow, Politics and Governance Programme, ODI

Simon Burall - Director, Involve


Helen Yanacopulos - Senior Lecturer, International Politics and Development, The Open University


The BBC's Why Poverty project was a unique attempt by a UK broadcaster to engage mainstream audiences with the issue of global poverty. In this public event, we'll examine how successful the project was and ask what lessons can be learnt for any future attempts to engage the public, both in the UK and around the world, with poverty and development. The Why Poverty series of 8 documentaries and 30 short films were broadcast in 72 countries and viewed by millions. The project team included the BBC, Steps International,The Open University and 8 other national broadcasters. Their goal was to stimulate a global debate about poverty in developed and developing countries.

We'll be asking:

  • How did audiences around the world respond to these programmes?

  • Was the project successful in stimulating a debate about poverty?

  • Did the international production network alter the portrayal of people living in poverty?

  • Can the series help us to understand better how to engage the public with poverty and development?

We’ll also be drawing on practitioner and research experience, including recent analysis of UK public opinion and public engagement trends, as Involve launch new work comparing public engagement in policy involving science and technology to public engagement in aid.