Poverty Eradication Research - case studies

Our researchers have created some ingenious solutions towards eradicating world poverty and in this section you can read about our latest innovations in the following case studies:

Poverty and Disaster Response in the Pacific

A new statistical tool to help target resources following deadly natural disasters has been created by the University of Bristol, allowing governments to prioritise getting aid to the most vulnerable people. This tool was used recently to allocate help for the poorest hit by Typhoon Gita in Tonga. 

Multi-dimensional approach to tackling poverty takes off worldwide

Countries as far afield as the Solomon Islands, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa and Uganda are turning to research carried out by Bristol experts to change how they define and tackle poverty.

Decisions to adopt the Consensual Approach to measuring poverty mark a timely development, given discussions around how poverty is defined in relation to the UN’s primary Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. 

Defining poverty in the 21st century

The ESRC-funded Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE:UK) project has set the gold standard in poverty measurement, providing policy makers with current, impartial, accurate and reliable scientific evidence.

The project’s website www.poverty.ac.uk has become an important source of information on poverty, widely used by the public, policy makers, local councils, educators, students, religious organisations and trade unions.

In March 2016, BBC Panorama broadcast Too Poor To Stay Warm drew on the PSE work on fuel poverty and reached 2.4 million viewers – watch here

Closing the educational attainment gap

Research conducted at the Graduate School of Education developed new techniques for analysing large amounts of data to find the reasons behind why disadvantaged children tend to have lower educational attainment than their peers. Their findings informed new targeted Government interventions that support parents.   

The research conducted by Dr Washbrook and colleagues was a key influence on the Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances commissioned by the Prime Minister and conducted by Frank Field MP in 2010. The impact of this work is illustrated by the fact the Review team approached Dr Washbrook in autumn 2010 in order to commission further analyses specifically to inform and support the recommendations of the Review.

Child poverty: a new understanding

The influential Bristol Approach is now regarded as the “gold standard” for defining and measuring absolute child poverty.
The UN General Assembly adopts powerful definition of child poverty developed at University of Bristol. Watch here.

When Peter Townsend died in 2009, UNICEF acknowledged his research at Bristol had transformed the way it and many of its partners both understood and measured the poverty suffered by children. “[It] has exposed policymakers all over the world to a new understanding of child poverty and inequalities,” wrote the organization. “As a consequence, children are more visible in poverty reduction policies and debates.” See here.

Revolutionising access to financial services

Ground breaking research by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) has shown how lack of access to basic banking and credit services is a major disadvantage to some of the most vulnerable people in society – putting them at risk of debt, theft and social exclusion.

Key impacts arising from the research include an empirically based blueprint for a bank account better suited to the needs of people on low incomes than a traditional current account. Evidence of this blueprint can be seen in the basic bank accounts that were introduced by banks and building societies from 2002-03 and are still available today. 


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