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STICERD Public Events and Lectures


Why do people stay poor?

Robin Burgess (LSE), Oriana Bandiera (LSE), Imran Matin (BRAC), Shameran Abed (BRAC), Scott MacMillan (BRAC), Adnan Khan (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office)

Wednesday 01 March 2023 18:00 - 19:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

Recent research indicates there is a wealth threshold below which people are stuck in the so-called ‘poverty trap’ – where the initial wealth of a person and a system of oppression keeps them in a cycle of poverty rather than abilities or traits.

Listen to a recording of the event:

Extreme poverty is often defined as living on less than $2.15 (recently updated by the World Bank from $1.90) but the multidimensional nature of  it goes far beyond a lack of income. If we know why people stay poor, it is urgent to identify solutions that effectively empower people and communities in situations of poverty. This is the mission of BRAC -  a southern-led international non-profit organisation which has changed the way policymakers think about poverty. One critical idea of BRAC, the Graduation approach, aims to achieve large-scale, positive changes through a holistic, sequenced set of interventions that allow vulnerable households to progress along a pathway to sustainable livelihoods and resilience.

In discussion will be LSE researchers Robin Burgess and Oriana Bandiera, who have spearheaded one of the world’s longest running and largest Randomized Control Trials (RCT) on how to create real policy solutions to the policy trap; Chief Economist and Director for Economics and Evaluation Directorate in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Adnan Khan, alongside BRAC leadership who are putting research into action. They will highlight the current science behind understanding the poverty trap and a vision for a successful, scaled poverty alleviation programmes. Scott MacMillan (BRAC) will be presenting his book: "Hope Over Fate: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty".

Research and policy action can combine to help the world’s most vulnerable improve their socioeconomic resilience by providing effective solutions for poverty alleviation and tailoring  programmes such as the Graduation approach to adapt to build resilience for the most severe impacts of climate change. Together, researchers and BRAC can outline a vision for the future of poverty alleviation in a changing world. 

The event will be chaired by Susanna Murato (LSE).

For the in-person event, please register via Eventbrite.

For the online event, please register via Zoom

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, by email: