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Alleviating poverty remains one of the key challenges in Kenya and many other developing economies. In addition, there is evidence that the poor are indeed heterogeneous and poverty is dynamic (people move in and out of poverty). Therefore, it is very important to continuously carry out research on poverty so as to create awareness and also inform policy makers on the nature and extent of poverty as this may obscure/distort effects of government poverty alleviation programs.

In Kenya, approximately 45 % of the population leaves below the poverty line with 50% and 43% in rural and urban areas respectively. About 80% of Kenya’s population lives in rural areas and mainly depend on agriculture for food and income. Smallholder agriculture thus remains a major engine of rural growth and livelihood improvement and a pathway out of poverty. Understanding the factors that drive household movements in and out of poverty is extremely important for the design of poverty reduction strategies.
Some of the research that the institute has carried out on poverty includes:

  • Pathways into and out of poverty for the rural households
  • Rural income, inequality and poverty Dynamics
  • Rural poverty dynamics, productivity and access to resources
  • Measuring income and potential for poverty reduction

The Institute will continue to undertake research work on poverty in rural and urban areas to provide empirical evidence and guidance to policy makers in coming up with appropriate policy interventions/instruments that addresses heterogeneity and dynamics in poverty.