Poverty reduction has not hitherto played a consistent role in development thinking. In effect one could state that it was in the core of theorising only in the seventies and in the nineties. In response to this situation, this paper analyses development theories and concepts with specific emphasis on poverty reduction. It also identifies indicators that can be used to analyse donor programmes with regard to poverty reduction. In the first part a short history of development theories in relation to poverty reduction is given. In the second, the focus is on poverty as a concept for aid organisations. In the last part general data on donor support for poverty reduction are presented and analysed.