Policy responses to the spatial dimensions of poverty

Working and discussion papers
December 2010
Kate Higgins, Kate Bird and Dan Harris

The spatial dimensions of poverty should matter to policymakers. Why? First, because large numbers of people live in spatially disadvantaged areas. Second, because geography and location have been found to have considerable explanatory power when it comes to understanding this disadvantage. What, then, should policymakers do? How can and should public policy address the spatial dimensions of poverty?

This Overseas Development Institute/Chronic Poverty Research Centre (ODI/CPRC) Working Paper discusses policy responses to the spatial dimensions of poverty. Section 2 examines spatiality in development discourse and policy. It does this by looking at policy documents from a number of developing country and donors, as well as the World Bank’s 2009 World Development Report, Reshaping Economic Geography. Section 3 outlines eight policy attempts to address spatial disparity, by looking at the policy problem, response and impact. Section 4 identifies lessons for policy and practice and Section 5 concludes.

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