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Seminar 3 - Assets, Poverty Traps and Rights

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 11:46 AM

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Seminar 3: Assets, Poverty Traps and Rights

Part I
of the seminar will focus on the importance of assets for poverty reduction and prevention. It will enumerate the breadth of assets that poor houses control and describe how these assets can and are interchanged based on price and availability, the importance of these assets (especially natural resources) in rural households’ assets strategies, and the thresholds of asset possession and poverty traps. It will provide participants with an understanding of the thresholds of asset possession and poverty traps and how — below a certain level of asset possession — economic actors are unable to take advantage of certain economic opportunities. This part of the seminar will also clarify the relationship between the thresholds of asset possession and programmatic initiatives that both protect the poor and transitorily poor from falling into chronic poverty (Safety Nets programs) and help the chronically poor climb out of poverty (cargo nets).

Part II will explore the connection between the ability to protect and use assets and poverty. It will provide seminar participants with a nuanced understanding of what makes assets usable. Participants should come away from this part of the seminar understanding that simply gaining possession of assets is not enough to move out of poverty and that the ability to make use of assets is also essential. Participants should learn about the importance of the factors that limit or improve use of assets, such as access to financing, rights to use the assets, and developed markets in which to buy and sell the assets.

Chris Barrett, Cornell University Professor of Applied Economics and Management, will be the featured speaker, complemented by a disussion of the role gender plays in constraints and opportunities from Marilee Kane in USAID’s Office of Women in Development. Following their presentations, there will be an open discussion on themes presented in the seminar.

At the end of the seminar, participants will understand the following:

  • The importance of assets (especially natural resources), the thresholds of asset possession and poverty traps.
  • The role of gender in natural resource management and poverty reduction. More specifically, how do men and women fare differently in terms of asset-building and asset usage, especially depending on where they live (rural/urban)?
  • What makes (natural) assets usable (e.g., financing, rights to land, titling, whether assets bankable, whether markets are developed). How do women and men fare differently in terms of their ability to use their assets?


Reading List


Seminar Series

1: Links between NRM & Poverty?

2: Power & the Social Dimensions

3: Assets, Poverty Traps and Rights

4: Markets and Trade

5: Migration, Marginal Lands

6: Key Macro and National Level Issues

7: Programmatic Issues and Tools

8: Conflict, Corruption, NRM & Poverty Reduction


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