Poverty Research Centre
The aim of this Centre is to promote high quality research on the measurement of poverty, its social and economic causes and the way in which policy interventions, demographic change, technological developments and changes in the external environment interact with domestic institutions to influence the incidence of poverty.
The research will involve scholars from fields including economics, demography, anthropology and political science.
The Centre director is Professor Peter Warr.
Poverty alleviation has become a central policy issue for the Asia Pacific region and RSPAS is well placed to contribute significantly to the search for workable solutions.
Over the last three decades considerable progress has been made in reducing poverty, but in most countries of the region it remains a central social problem. Efforts to reduce poverty have attracted increasing attention, both from domestic governments and from international institutions.
Poverty alleviation has been declared the central focus of multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program, and of bilateral aid agencies such as the Australian Agency for International Development and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Unfortunately, this focus is not yet well supported by knowledge of the causes of poverty or of the mechanisms by which economic and social change and the policy measures of domestic governments and international institutions affect it.
For the focus on poverty reduction to be more operational, research is required on the measurement of poverty, its social and economic causes and the way in which policy interventions, demographic change, technological developments and changes in the external environment interact with domestic institutions to influence the incidence of poverty.
The Asia-Pacific region (including South Asia and China) accounts for 70 per cent of the world's poor people. Both the causes of poverty and the obstacles to reducing it are multi-faceted and a broad range of intellectual skills are required for a comprehensive understanding. Because of its unmatched expertise in the Asia-Pacific region and its broad strength in the social sciences, RSPAS is uniquely placed to contribute to research of this kind.