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Tackling vulnerability: An approach to poverty reduction

A plain language guide to the 2002/3 Tanzania Participatory Poverty Assessment

Research and Analysis Working Group

October 2004

SARPN acknowledges the Research and Analysis Working Group as the source of this document.
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This booklet is a plain language guide to the Tanzania Participatory Poverty Assessment 2002/03 (TzPPA). The TzPPA study was commissioned by the Government in order to understand people’s vulnerability to poverty in Tanzania. Vulnerability refers to people’s chances of being poorer tomorrow than they are today. This means that the study looked at forces that prevent people from getting their basic needs, instead of focusing on obvious signs of poverty such as hunger and lack of adequate shelter. In order to understand people’s vulnerability to poverty, the researchers talked directly with community members throughout mainland Tanzania. This report includes their stories, insights and perspectives.

The TzPPA explains that the forces that cause poverty—impoverishing forces—arise from social, economic and political processes. People face risks caused by economic, environmental, health, governance, age-related and cultural conditions. Some examples of impoverishing forces include climate change, orphanhood, disability and ageing. They can threaten to push people into poverty or cause them to become poorer than they were before. Therefore vulnerability and impoverishing forces must be addressed in efforts to reduce poverty and bring about sustainable development.

This booklet is a plain language guide, which means it has been written in a simple, reader-friendly language that is accessible to everyone. It has been produced so that more people can know about, understand, discuss and use the important information that is in the TzPPA. When more people are able to understand this information, it will increase the level of meaningful participation in the Government’s poverty reduction efforts, in particular the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). This will help build ownership and commitment of all Tanzanians to the poverty reduction process. Also this information will help stakeholders at all levels—including communities, civil society, private sector and government—to improve poverty reduction policies and practices.

We welcome all stakeholders to read this plain language guide and use the information inside to come up with new and better solutions for poverty-related problems in Tanzania. In order to assist in reading this booklet, the meanings of difficult words used are written in a glossary at the back. Contact information is provided on the back cover for those who would like more information.

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