Poverty and development

Latest Popular

Animals and humans Anthropology Archaeology Automation and robotics Cities Demography and migration Economic history Economics Education Environmental history Fairness and equality Future of technology Gender Global history History History of technology Human rights and justice Information and communication Making Nations and empires Politics and government Poverty and development Progress and modernity Public health Race and ethnicity Religion The ancient world The environment The future War and peace Work

A resident of the 6th floor of an apartment block gazes at the damage after the balcony fell from his 13 year old apartment in Shenyang, China. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

Chabuduo! Close enough …

Your balcony fell off? Chabuduo. Vaccines are overheated? Chabuduo. How China became the land of disastrous corner-cutting

James Palmer

D Watkins in Baltimore. Photo by Stacey Watkins

Biography and memoir
Stoop stories

My black friends call it Murderland. My white friends call it Charm City, a town of trendy cafés. I just call it home

D Watkins

Luis Moure, an ex-addict, pauses in East Harlem, New York, on 5 August 2015. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

Ageing out of drugs

Most addicts just stop using in time, without needing costly treatment. Why do some people walk away while others can’t?

Stacey McKenna

Field workers harvest cantaloupes on the outskirts of Maricopa County near Aguila, Arizona, on 29 July 2020. Photo by Ed Kashi/Vii/Headpress

The tyranny of work

Jobs have become, for so many, a relentless, unsatisfying toil. Why then does the work ethic still hold so much sway?

Jamie McCallum

All illustrations by Susie Cagle

Homes for the homeless

San Francisco’s homeless are harangued and despised while conservative Utah has a radically humane approach

Susie Cagle

Carvings thought to depict Terra Mater (Mother Earth) decorate the Ara Pacis Augustae, built in honour of the military successes and political reforms of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus. Photo by DeAgostini/Getty

How the poor became blessed

Greco-Roman gods had no interest in the poor nor was organised charity a religious duty. How was Christianity different?

Pieter van der Horst

Labourers at lunch on the West Side, New York, 1967. Photo by Danny Lyon/Magnum

Poverty and development
Men at work

The age of austerity has transformed work, but what it means to be a man has not caught up

Allison J Pugh

Munkhbat and Altangeret have lived down this manhole in Unur district of Ulaanbaatar for three years. The search for food and warmth rules their lives, as temperatures drop to -40C. Photo by Richard Wainwright


Filthy and violent it may be, but life is still precious for the world’s street children. Can you look them in the eye?

Ben Faccini

A Dalit woman carrying water in Orissa, India. Mikkel Ostergaard/Panops

Human rights and justice
Caste lives on, and on

Indian society deludes itself that caste discrimination is a thing of the past, yet it suffuses the nation, top to bottom

Prayaag Akbar

The projected Tianjin Eco City, China. Illustration courtesy of Surbana Urban Planning Group

Ecology and environmental sciences
This world is enough

For the first time in history we could end poverty while protecting the global environment. But do we have the will?

John Quiggin

Labourers in Vidharbha region in Maharashtra, India. Photo by Sanjit Das/Panos

Human rights and justice
What do slaveholders think?

It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launched from Cape Canaveral. Photo by NASA

Space exploration
Whitey on Mars

Elon Musk and the rise of Silicon Valley’s strange trickle-down science

Andrew Russell & Lee Vinsel

Clinic run by nuns in the village of Kati, near Bamako, Mali, in 1994. Photo by Abbas/Magnum

Poverty and development
What good is religion?

International development has focused on material goods, but religion has an important role to play in human flourishing

Manini Sheker

A medical worker holds an HIV test kit. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Illness and disease
Southern brew

A second hurricane is battering New Orleans, this time it is an HIV catastrophe whipped up by prejudice and poverty

Jessica Wapner

Smile for the camera: women in the Trashi Yangtse district of Bhutan. The Himalayan nation targeted ‘Gross National Happiness’ as a major development measure. Photo by Ami Vitale/Panos

What happiness conceals

For years, economists have laboured on the riddle of happiness. If they studied misery, they might get somewhere

John Quiggin

A measure of success: the link between rates of production and a nation’s general health once seemed so simple. Post-war production at the Renault factory in Paris, 1959. Photo by Marc Riboud/Magnum

Growing pains

Measure a country purely against its GDP and you neglect the wellbeing of its people. Yet can that be measured?

Diane Coyle

Berries hang on the wall of a house in a village inside Chernobyl’s exclusion zone. Photo by Rena Effendi/National Geographic/Getty

Poverty and development
The harvests of Chernobyl

Thirty years after the nuclear disaster, local berry-pickers earn a good living. What’s the hidden cost of their wares?

Kate Brown & Olha Martynyuk

Children in Burkina Faso; just under one third complete primary school. Photo by William Daniels/Panos

Information and communication
The other half

To end inequality, we must realise that it isn’t about the rich, it’s about the poor. And we know almost nothing about them

Claire Melamed

US non-profit GiveDirectly provided universal basic income to several villages in the Kisume area of Kenya. The headmaster of this school used his to buy new furniture and books. Photo by Thomas Dworzak/Magnum

Poverty and development
What really helps the poor?

It’s difficult to test whether poverty relief actually works. Do randomised controlled trials provide a scientific measure?

Stephanie Wykstra

A member of the military-style Special Ranger Patrol talks to a suspected rhino poacher on 7 November 2014 at the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo by James Oatway/Sunday Times/Getty

Ecology and environmental sciences
Why E O Wilson is wrong about how to save the Earth

Bram Büscher & Robert Fletcher

Graduating students of the City College of New York cheer during the commencement ceremony in the Harlem section of Manhattan, New York on 3 June 2016. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

Engines of democracy

Society will be much improved by loosening the stranglehold of top universities on the education of elites. But how?

Jennifer M Morton

Residents line up for cow beans provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ease an ongoing food crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency. Mainok village, Western Borno State, Nigeria, 11 February 2017. Photo by Ashley Gilbertson/VII/Headpress

Poverty and development
The billionaire curse

Philanthropy is vital – but its mechanisms are as intricate and troubling as the baroque structures of high finance

Katharyne Mitchell

Community block party in the rain. Baltimore, 2018. Photo by Peter van Agtmael/Magnum

Race and ethnicity
Sociology’s race problem

Urban ethnographers do more harm than good in speaking for Black communities. They see only suffering, not diversity or joy

Robyn Autry

A woman holds her child as she waits at a food distribution point in Mogadishu. Photo by Sven Torfinn/Panos

What do they want?

What would happen if the aid industry started collecting data on how the people it serves actually feel about their lives?

Claire Melamed