Describing Poverty

Authors: O. Ejderyan, U. Geiser, G. Tejada, R. Tuor, N. Backhaus, U. Müller-Böker

Faces of Poverty and their Responses

Click on the image in the right-hand column to watch the short film introducing different aspects of termpoverty:

Learning Objectives

After completing this lesson, you shall be able to:

  • Define poverty from the individual to the national level;
  • Identify the different factors that contribute to poverty;
  • Describe how poverty affects people's lives;
  • Find appropriate resources for poverty indicators;
  • Critically discuss poverty indicators and their implication for poverty;
  • Compare different situations of poverty at the international level;
  • Explain the main poverty reduction strategies.


In order to fulfil the learning objectives of this lesson, you will have to:

  • Read introductory texts, view films and look at animations introducing different definitions of poverty;
  • Answer questions about how poor people define their own situation;
  • Work through texts showing the use of various international classifications of poverty and introducing indicators to measure poverty;
  • Watch animations and websites showing examples of indicators;
  • Go through online animations describing the Millennium Development goals;
  • Complete a quiz on development indicators;
  • Do an exercise on national poverty profiles and the Human Development Index.

Controversial Debates

Most of the topics that will be introduced in this lesson are matters for controversial debates. Opinions differ on questions like:

  • Who defines indicators to measure poverty?
  • What role does the World Bank play in this process?
  • What is the relevance of the Millennium Development Goals?

This lesson is a first introduction. Debates related to these topics will be discussed more critically in the GLOPP lessons that follow.

Working through this lesson you will come across the following activities, tests and downloads:




No previous page available Go to top Go to next page