|dc.description.abstract||In August 2004 the Research Council of Norway announced tenders for a “State-of-the-art”
report within international poverty research, with special focus on institutions and rights. The
Research Council wanted the report to give an overview over what is the present state of
knowledge in the field, indicate where the frontiers of research are, identify what the most
pressing needs for new knowledge are, and suggest how Norwegian expertise can contribute
to poverty research in the South. The size of the report is limited to 100 pages.
The Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) was successful with its
tender. The contract (Project No. 168080/S30) with the Research Council was signed by both
parties during the second half of October 2004, and the contract period was set to 4 months.
The final report was to be delivered 1.05.2005 at the latest.
The project description provided by CROP for the tender competition takes as its
starting point that, within the framework of such a report, it is at present not possible to give
more than a limited overview of the frontiers of international poverty research. Poverty
research comprises a vast area of different scientific disciplines and interdisciplinary
approaches, within clearly opposing paradigms. No common platform has been established
for the scientific evaluation of the field in general, and the validity of presented research
results is often difficult to judge as some of the research is mixed with political interests
and/or particular moral values.
In this situation CROPs proposal was to use its own knowledge base to
1) give an overview of where a selection of major approaches to poverty research are
presently located in the field of international science and present some of the
current paradigmatic approaches, and
2) single out five topics for in-depth case studies to present frontiers of research
within different areas of international poverty research and define new questions to
be explored, and
3) use this material to say something about what are the most pressing needs for new
knowledge in international poverty research and how this may be reflected in
future studies in the South.
The project is designed to meet the requirements of the Research Council which is to
focus on institutions and rights and contribute to knowledge development of special
importance for poverty reduction and national welfare strategies in the South.
CROP hereby presents the Report from the project. It has been developed in close cooperation
with scholars in the South and other members of the CROP international network of
poverty researchers, see Appendix B. Very special thanks go to the main collaborators who
have taken charge of the case studies. The results of their work appear in chapters IV-IX.
CROP, however, bears the sole responsibility for the contents of the Report.||en