The document, presented by Christopher B. Barrett, Cornell University, discusses the challenge of improving policy and institutional innovation for poverty reduction. The poverty traps concept is considered in relation to six key features namely a focus on dynamics, multiple dynamic equilibrium, risk matters, exclusionary mechanisms, multi-dimensionality, and feedback effects across scales of analysis.
A dynamic and multidimensional approach to poverty has implications for agricultural research and development including the need for an asset based approach an emphasis on productivity growth and the use of systems thinking. These ideas are illustrated by two case studies from the East Africa Rangelands and the Highlands of Kenya and Madagascar. The role the CGIAR can play in both biophysical and social science research in sustainable poverty reduction is also considered in relation to the poverty traps conceptualization.
The paper was discussed at the Stakeholder Meeting at AGM2005.