You are on page 1of 6

Concept of Poverty Poverty has been present in mans history, but its meaning has changed through time.

Most people in early traditional societies were poor, and they accepted it as natural and unavoidable situation. But the current understanding was different, the condition of poverty was not accepted, and that all effort should be made to find the ways to eradicate it. This notion is based on decent and moral considerations. It was understood that all human beings are equal, and should be entitled not only to civil and political rights, but also to social rights such as food, shelter, education and personal security, (Simon, S. 1997).

It was on this premise the need to explore the properties of poverty as a concept became pertinent. Poverty has been defined and viewed differently by many scholars. The question of what poverty means depends on who asks it, and how it is understood by the parties, and who responds to the question. Generally, the meanings of poverty are usually submitted by researchers and development experts who may likely not be included in definition net i.e. they often rely on their intuitions to make such definitions probably to suit their research endeavours. In most cases researchers, construct definitions with a particular mind-sets in a particular setting and for a particular purpose. In this case many clusters of meanings of poverty concepts abound.

UNDP(2006)definition aligned to Low Income as proxy to represent poverty, while second clusters of meanings were based on material l( lack or want) this includes lack of or little wealth and lack or low quality of other assets such as shelter, clothing, furniture, personal means of transport, livelihood facilities, the third clusters of meanings were defined and expressed as potential denial on skills and physical abilities and self-respect in society, the fourth cluster is a

broad multi-dimensional view of dispossession with material lack or want as only one of several mutually reinforcing dimensions. The fifth was based on material happiness and comfort, bodily security, being and appearing well; many aspects of social interests including being able to settle children, and being able to help others; protection; and freedom of choice and action.(UNDP, 2006). These clusters of the meanings of poverty are constructs of researchers and or by development experts for the purpose of analyzing human development via the presence or absence of the indicators mentioned.

However, the greatest challenge in poverty analysis is to determine who are poor and quantitatively assess the size and severity of their condition, because of the subjectivity of the situation. Poverty analysis is primarily concerned with identifying within each society those households and individuals that are least well-off or most disadvantaged, where they live and what characteristics they might have that set them apart from those that are better-off, with aim of identifying them to develop targeted approach on poverty reduction or poverty alleviation strategies. It is necessary to try and understand why some are poor while others are not. Is it lack of education that appears common characteristic with them? Is the age, gender or employment status of the head of household a common factor? byanalyzing household income and or expenditure data and the characteristics of each Household, it is possible to gained better understanding of these issues and how they might be addressed in order to reduce hardship among those that suffer from it.

In order to effectively address poverty, there is a cogent need to understand the principal underlying causes involved, to achieve this, multiple scales is needed to arrive at some

approximation of the constraints poor people face, such understanding of rural poverty provide a precondition for effective pro-poor development strategies, because the determinants of rural poverty are not only complex but also multidimensional, involving among other things, such as gender, age, location, education and occupation, hence by this understanding the needs to study different dimensions and perspectives on poverty will enhance clarification of the causes and determinant as well as how to solve their problems and their needs.

To this effect, it is relevant if the concept is defined. The concept poverty has been defined and viewed by many scholars. The question of what poverty means depends on who asks it, and how it is understood, and who responds to the question. By definition, Co-incised oxford dictionary describe the adjective poor to mean poverty and which mean lacking adequate money or means of life contentedly The Noun Poverty is define as the state of being poor and as wants of the necessities of life It is a state of need in which freedom is missing. Poverty and poor are associated with a state of desires with dispossession such dispossession is related to the necessities of life. Hence it is a condition person, family or human group perceived the quest for such necessities to sustain life. Necessities or need can be contrasted with desire and preference desire is view as longing or craving for while preference is for favoring of one person before others it is a choice on what is like better. However, the common meanings were constructed by researchers and development expert, who are people not affected by poverty, since they often used their power to make definitions according to their perceptions to concept. In most cases researchers, construct definitions with a

particular mindsets and for a particular purposes which usually are in line with their perspective. In this case many clusters of meanings of poverty concepts arise. For this reason most

definitions are biased towards the purpose and mindset of the researcher. hitherto the concept is very important that require knowing.

The first definitions clusters aligned poverty with low income, incomewas used as proxy to poverty since poverty is difficult to measure (UNDP, 2006). By using this, when ever people, especially economists, use the word poverty they are referring to these measures. Poverty is what can be and has been measured, and this measurement and comparisons provide endless scope for debate. The second clusters of meanings were on material lack or want. Besides income, this includes lack of or little wealth and lack or low quality of other assets such as shelter, clothing, furniture, personal means of transport, radios or television, and so on in this line livelihood were regarded. This meaning also tends to include no or poor access to services such as education, health care etc. The third clusters of meanings were defined and are expressed as capability deprivation, referring to what we can or cannot do, can or cannot be. These include but goes beyond material lack or want to include human capabilities, for example skills and physical abilities, and also self-respect in society. The fourth cluster a more broadly multi-dimensional view of deprivation, with material lack or want as only one of several mutually reinforcing dimensions. The fifth was taken a striking commonalities material wellbeing, having enough; bodily wellbeing, being and appearing well; many aspects of social wellbeing including being able to settle children, and being able to help others; security; and freedom of choice and action.(UNDP, 2006). These clusters of the meanings of poverty have all been constructed by researchers and or by development experts.

Consequently, the expressions of researchers were mostly for education, training, experiences and reflections, interventions mindsets. The definitions reflect their perception, and objectives for poverty alleviation, reduction or elimination, or interventions. The analysis of the definition most of the implication of these meanings given, became fundamental to what development should be in the perspective of the scholar or expert. But, the version of those affected by poverty might had been different definition or perception comprising a multidimensional phenomenon, poverty is to the affected, is beyond measurement in one direction but multitude of ways. Given the complexity of the issues, the best introduction to poverty measurement is through the multifaceted nature of the phenomenon and the different concepts of it. Poverty is a state of being poor (the state of not having enough to take care of basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing). Others included deprivation, exclusion and gender disparity as part of poverty. These categories were really affected consider the following as a meaning of poverty: disabled (i.e., blind, crippled, mentally impaired, chronically sick) widowed that were deprived of basic amenities of life and have many children lacking land, livestock, farm equipment, a grinding mill or no house to live cannot decently bury their dead cannot send their children to school having more mouths-to-feed, fewer hands-to-help lacking able-bodied members who can fend for their families in crisis bad housing having vices being poor in people, lacking social support/solidarity

having to put children in employment single parents having to accept demeaning work or low status work having food security for only a few months each year being dependent on common property resources