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Resilience and sustainable poverty escapes in Niger: national report

Working papers

Written by Aoife McCullough, Vidya Diwakar

The focus of this report is on resilience and household poverty dynamics in Niger, specifically escapes and descents, with a focus on what explains why some households escape poverty and remain out of poverty (sustained poverty escape), while other households escape poverty only to fall back into poverty (transitory poverty escape).

This report combines analysis from two rounds of the panel survey with qualitative research approaches, in particular, key informant interviews, life histories, and participatory wealth ranking in urban and rural areas of the Zinder region. The report investigates the resources (land, livestock and assets), attributes (household composition and education level), and activities (including jobs and engagement in non-farm activities) that enable households to escape poverty sustainably and minimise the likelihood of returning to living in poverty again. The report situates these micro-factors in an analysis of the changing context for poverty eradication.

The report concludes that:

  • households with increased land, and who developed a nonfarm enterprise, or received remittances from domestic sources, between 2011 and 2014 were associated with significantly higher monetary welfare measured by per capita expenditures, according to the quantitative data
  • combining domestic or international migration with farm activities was a common strategy in rural areas and was likely to lead to escapes from poverty
  • the risk environment is extremely challenging for poor and near-poor people in Niger. Environmental and agriculture-related shocks were the most common in the quantitative data
  • the changing characteristics of households were also particularly important in impoverishment processes. Having more children and teenage marriage, especially for women just above the poverty line, were associated with an increased likelihood of a descent into poverty in the qualitative research data.

This report was first published on the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN) website on 17 January 2019.

Aoife McCullough and Vidya Diwakar