While the inclusion of extremely poor people is a noble and necessary objective, it is challenging. Attempts to include extreme poor people in development interventions have often been disappointing. The Many Hidden Faces of Extreme Poverty: inclusion and exclusion of extreme poor people in development interventions in Bangladesh, Benin and Ethiopia (African Studies Collection, issue 75) by Anika Altaf addresses the challenge to include the poorest people. It provides deeper understanding of the mechanisms of in- and exclusion of extreme poor people, the structural causes of extreme poverty and the desirability of a univocal definition of extreme poverty. The book, based on Altaf's PhD dissertation, contributes to such an understanding through an analysis of extremely poor and marginalised people and their multiple dimensions of well-being. Furthermore, the book sheds light on the discourses and practices applied by development agencies in order to draw lessons about how the extreme poor can be sustainably included in development interventions. This is based on original field research carried out in Bangladesh, Benin, and (rural and urban) Ethiopia, using a participatory approach.

Year of publication: 2019
Series: African Studies Collection
Volume: 75




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Anika Altaf
African Studies Centre