Poverty reduction is the central goal of current development policies both locally and internationally. To reach this objective it is essential to understand the complexity and ambiguity of poverty. This locally specific in-depth analysis offers a means to understand poverty beyond statistics.
The aim of this working paper is to give voice to the poor by reviewing local people’s understanding of poverty in four selected communities in Tanzania. It presents the ways the locals perceive both poverty in general as well as the challenges of everyday life. Rural and urban coping strategies are examined and the social context analyzed to create a profound description of poverty in Tanzania.