Terms You Should Know about Poverty

Community development

The long-term process whereby people who are marginalized or living in poverty work together to identify their needs, create change, exert more influence in the decisions which affect their lives. People involved in this work to improve the quality of their lives, the communities in which they live, and the society of which they are part.

Economic, social and cultural rights

Things to which people are entitled to live a fully human life which meets their physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs. People in poverty are often deprived of these rights.

Extreme (or absolute) poverty

The state in which people live on less than $1 a day where people cannot afford the most basic necessities to ensure survival. Eight million people a year die from this condition.

Moderate poverty

The state in which people earn about $1 to $2 a day and households can just barely meet their basic needs. These people must forgo many of the things-education, health care-that many of us take for granted. The smallest misfortune (health issue, job loss, etc.) threatens survival.

Poverty line

The designated income below which households are considered in poverty. It is set at the approximate cost of all the essential resources needed to maintain an adequate standard of living for an adult. It varies country by country.

Poverty proofing

The process by which government departments, local authorities and state agencies assess policies and programs at design and review stages in relation to the likely impact that they will have, or have had, on poverty and on inequalities that are likely to lead to poverty. They aim to reduce poverty.

Poverty risk

The proportion of people living in households where their disposable income is below the threshold of 60% of the national average disposable income. The EU measure of poverty risk is set at 60% of national average income.

Relative poverty

Where a household has an income below the national average.

Social capital

Networks, understanding and values that shape the way we relate to each other and participate in social activities.

Social cohesion

Bringing together, in an integrated way, economic, social, health and educational policies to facilitate the participation of citizens in societal life.

Social exclusion

The process in which certain groups are pushed to the margins of society and prevented from participating fully by virtue of their poverty, low education or inadequate life skills. This distances them from job, income and education opportunities as well as social and community networks.

Social inclusion

Ensuring the marginalized and those living in poverty have greater participation in decision making which affects their lives, allowing them to improve their living standards and their overall well-being.

Sustainable economic and social development:

The type of broad-based, long-term human growth which encourages the continual development of skills, capacities and talents to the fullest possible extent as a means of challenging poverty and social exclusion.

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