Poor peoples participation in poverty reduction

TitlePoor peoples participation in poverty reduction
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWorton J
AdvisorReitsma-Street M
Academic DepartmentFaculty of Human and Social Development
DegreeMaster of Arts M.A.
Date PublishedApril 30, 2009
UniversityUniversity of Victoria (Canada)
CityVictoria, BC
Keywordspoverty reduction, participation, social movement, inclusion, low income

People with experience living on low income have an important role in multi-sectoral poverty reduction work: they have a right to participate in initiatives that may influence their well being and can contribute valuable skills, knowledge and resources. Yet they are often absent. This research explores the context-specific factors that support and constrain the participation of people living on low income in poverty reduction initiatives through interviews with 19 people actively involved in such efforts. The findings describe the nuances and tensions related to experiences with nine factors: type of participation, compensation, labelling “poor” participants, opening spaces which support diverse perspectives, expectations of representation, rationale for participation, degree of influence, ratio of “poor” participants and relationships. Findings suggest that poverty reduction initiative would benefit from offering diverse participatory opportunities, being flexible in the supports they provide to match the specific needs of individuals and dedicating revenue to participation costs.