Our research focuses on 4 countries ? Ethiopia, India (in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana), Peru and Vietnam. These were chosen to reflect a wide range of cultural, economic, geographical, political and social contexts. They face some of the common issues experienced by developing countries, such as high debt burden, post-conflict reconstruction, and adverse environmental conditions such as drought and flood.
Nevertheless, despite an initial emphasis on diversity, Peru and Vietnam (and to a large extent India) have experienced consistent economic growth since our work started in 2001. But economic growth does not necessarily mean that the challenges of poverty are overcome ? and high levels of social and economic inequality persist.
Thus, we are now studying poverty in the context of national economic change, at the same time recognising that inequality may become increasingly entrenched, and that rising food or commodity prices and other global forces may in any case undermine growth in the coming years.