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"Are the poor invisible?" - PADEV with the poor
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"Are the poor invisible?" - PADEV with the poor

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Presentation by Agnieszka Kazimierczuk at the PADEV seminar - Utrecht, 15 September 2010

Presentation by Agnieszka Kazimierczuk at the PADEV seminar - Utrecht, 15 September 2010

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  • By using the consolidated list of projects, the facilitator asked about extra ten-fifteen interventions that were judged by the participants of previous workshops as “having an impact on the whole community” or the one who impacted the poor directly. The participants were asked whether they know the funder of the initiative, do they hear about the project and whether they directly benefited from it. Because in most cases, the participants did hear about the project but did not benefit from it, asking them to judge the impact of the projects was considered to be irrelevant.
  • Generally speaking, the ranking of the best projects was dominated by the projects introduced by the government. It gives the impression that the only way for the poor to benefit from a project is only when it is a public good accessible for everyone and preferably does not require any kind of contribution. Such an outcome also suggests that the government is practically the only actor that is able to uplift the poor directly.
  • Imposible to trace a “very poor” household; Rely on the in-sight knowledge of the research assistant Nevertheless, it did not mean that there are no very poor people in the village, as the participants were always indicating them to be a part of the society, but it yet again proved that they are invisible and extremely hard to reach.
  • The very poor are not living separately, but they are “attached” to a household. African compounds are very complex constructions. They are made up from many smaller huts and buildings where even more than a hundred people can live in. As it turned out within one compound a very rich person can live next to a very poor man. That is also a reason why it is so difficult to reach the poor and the very poor, as they are hidden within the compound’s mazes. In order to reach the very poor, six compounds were re-visited with a particular focus on their most destitute inhabitants. The choice of the compound was based on the insight knowledge of the research assistant – Haruna, who after facilitating twelve rounds of the workshops was fully aware of who was considered to be the very poor. The very poor were asked about their occupation and what they do for survival and whether they experience any help from their in-compound neighbors or a NGO? The very poor are indeed single persons, such as widows and bachelors, but there are also two very poor married couples. For them the health state was the main factor of the poverty. Within the married couple, one of the husbands is deaf, the other is blind, and one of the wives is mentally challenged, thus they all are practically unable to do any work. None of the very poor directly benefited from any of the projects (with one exception: borehole).
  • The main purpose of this research was to trace how exclusion of the poor wealth class from the previously performed workshops (both Gbangu 2010 and Langbinsi 2008) influenced the outcome of the exercises. The main purpose of the PADEV methodology is to give an honest valuation of the development projects, but the participants should be aware of them in order to properly judge their impact.
  • Confirmation of the previously given definition; Confirmation of the marginalisation and exclusion of these groups;
  • Very poor and poor are exposed to very specific problems, thus require a specific approach Outcomes Targeting Toolkit: which means are necessary to reach the poor, very poor and excluded. Policy recommendations (especially related to the very poor group).


  • 1. Agnieszka Kazimierczuk (PADEV) Presentation prepared for: “ Insights in complexity: possibilities for scaling-up a bottom-up evaluation approach.” Utrecht, 15.09.2010
  • 2.
    • PADEV weak point:
      • participants are the representatives of the rich and the average wealth groups
    • Major problem with most of the development interventions:
      • proper targeting of the recipients
  • 3. “ A poor person is not well-recognized in society and is not involved in any social processes either; while a very poor person is not respected by others, neither recognized in the community, (s)he is not considered in the decision-making processes, nor attending social gatherings; (s)he is isolated and has no friends.” Kazimierczuk 2009
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6. Housing Farm Animals Transport Category Short Description Very rich Rich Not Rich/Not Poor Poor Very poor Transport Owns a car No No No No No Owns a motorbike Yes Yes No No No Owns a bicycle Yes Yes Yes No No Goes bare-footed No No No No Yes Family Has a family (wife/children) Yes Yes Yes Yes No Education Children in SSS Yes Some Some No No Children in basic education Yes Some Some No No Housing House made with cement blocks Yes Some Some No No House roofed with zinc Yes Some Some No No Cloths Goes well-dressed Yes Yes Yes Some No Eating habits 3 meals a day Yes No No No No 2 meals a day Yes Yes Yes No No Farm Use tractor to farm Yes Yes No No No Use bullocks to farm Yes Yes No No No Animals Owns cattle Yes Yes Some No No Owns small ruminants Yes Yes Yes No No Owns poultry Yes Yes Yes Yes No Health Has access to good health care Yes Yes Some Some No Ceremonies Big and recognised ceremonies Yes Some Some No No Position in the society Involved in decision-making Yes Yes Sometimes No No Respected Yes Yes Some No No State of mind Happy Yes Yes Sometimes No No Others Able to support others Yes Yes Sometimes No No Depends on help from others No No Sometimes Yes Yes Has to beg No No No No Yes
  • 7. The number of households in particular wealth group Wealth Group N Poor 20 Average 77 Rich 69 Very Rich 21
  • 8.
    • Planned sample N=40 (20 x 2)
    N Average age Men 21 52 Elderly Men 12 62 Younger Men 9 39 Women 18 45 Elderly Women 8 59 Younger Women 10 34 Total 39 49
  • 9.
    • Small groups: 5 participants each
    • Exercises:
      • Perception of changes
      • List of projects + attribution + selection of the best five
      • Discussion about five wealth groups and division of wealth in the village
      • Impact of the best projects on the wealth classes
      • Completed life histories of each of the participants
    • Further comparison to the previous research in the area (2008 and 2010 follow up)
  • 10.  
  • 11. *excluding the overlapping projects between the groups.
    • Number of non-prompted projects per group
    n Older man I 5 Older men II 6 Younger Men I 7 Younger Men II 11 Older women I 6 Older women II 5 Younger women I 5 Younger women II 9 Total* 18
  • 12.
    • Number of interventions per sector discussed with the poor compared to the other workshops
    Sector Gbangu the Poor 2010 Gbangu Follow up 2010 Education 4 12 Crops 8 12 Health 6 19 Infrastructure 1 4 Water 1 3 Credit/Trade/Business 2 4 Livestock 1 4 Social 0 4 Natural Environment 3 7 Food 2 3 Others 0 3 Total 28 75
  • 13.
    • Only 20 projects directly benefited some or all of the poor
      • 5 projects benefited directly all of the participants, and 15 projects benefited some of the participants.
      • “ Some ” means one or two participants
    • 5 projects that benefit the poor:
      • Boreholes,
      • Clinic,
      • Vaccination programme,
      • School,
      • Grinding mill
    Public Goods
  • 14.
    • Frequency of the “best project”
    Project n 1 School 8 2 Clinic 7 3 Grinding Mill 7 4 Borehole 6 5 Dry-season garden 3 6 Warehouse 2
  • 15.
    • Average impact of best projects on wealth categories (%)
  • 16. “ The group of the very poor contains mostly physically and mentally challenged people or single people, like bachelors or widows. A very poor person does not really have an occupation and depends on relatives or begs in public. Some, if their health allows, are labourers who farm or fetch water for other people. ” Kazimierczuk, 2010
  • 17.
    • Details regarding compounds within which the very poor live
    Amount of inhabitants Classification of the compound People considered to be the very poor 16 Poor A bachelor 51 Average 2 widows 62 Average 2 old widows 18 Average Aged very poor married couple 60 Average A single old man 27 Rich 2 widows 25 Very rich A blind man and his wife
  • 18.
    • Methodological perspective
      • Since the poor are not direct beneficiaries of most of the development interventions => so far they are not a good target group for the impact evaluation workshops;
      • The main beneficiaries of the development initiatives are still the average, the rich and the very rich => they constitute the main target group for the impact evaluation workshops;
      • The exclusion of the representatives of lower wealth classes did not influence the outcome of the previous workshops substantially.
  • 19.
    • The poor and the very poor perspective
    “ The (very) poor are invisible!!” The efforts on the ground need to be greater in order to properly address development divides.
  • 20. Local definition of poverty and understanding of local context Most vulnerable and excluded people, children
  • 21.