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Policy

From poverty to flourishing: agency and empowerment

17 November 2021

The objective of this briefing is to help policy makers understand how poverty can diminish people’s ability to exercise agency and empowerment in their lives and to facilitate the development of policies which will empower those living in poverty to be able to ‘level up’.

Diminished levels of agency and empowerment can lead to a psychologically based poverty trap which inhibits the ability of people living in poverty to actively work to change their situation.

It is emphasised that the person living in poverty is not to blame for any reduction in their ability to exercise agency and empowerment.

A recurring theme in this briefing is that enhancing the agency and empowerment of people in situations of poverty is not only good for the psychological and material wellbeing of those individuals, but also constitutes a constructive and beneficial response for society as a whole.

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