Getting to zero: tackling extreme poverty through private sector development

Research reports and studies
May 2015
Andrew Shepherd and Chiara Mariotti

The most direct way to help the chronically poor exit poverty through private sector development is by providing them secure, decent wage employment. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable categories, such as the poorest women and young or disabled people.

However, most developing countries are not creating sufficient wage employment, or fast enough, to provide a secure job to all the poor in the near future, and the poorest people may not easily take them up. Some of these jobs have created opportunities for the working poor, but many others have not enabled the poor to escape poverty.

This guide focuses on the relationship between the development of the private sector and the eradication of poverty. It is part of a broader stream of work carried out by CPAN, which seeks to identify the characteristics of economic growth pathways that benefit the poorest people.

The Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN) produces a portfolio of sector and thematic policy guides to help policymakers and programme designers use evidence about chronic poverty and poverty dynamics in designing policies and programmes to: 

  • Contribute to addressing the causes of chronic poverty;

  • Assist poor households to escape poverty;

  • Prevent impoverishment

The getting to zero: tackling extreme poverty through private sector development policy guide has been funded by the Australian aid program.