Understanding Poverty: Its Causes, Impacts, and Solutions

    Understanding Poverty: Its Causes, Impacts, and Solutions


    Poverty, a term often heard but seldom understood in its entirety, is a complex and multifaceted issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It is not merely a lack of money or material possessions, but a state of deprivation that encompasses various aspects of life, including health, education, and living standards. Globally, the poverty situation remains a significant concern, with approximately 10% of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank.

    Understanding the Concept of Poverty

    Poverty can be categorized into two types: absolute and relative. Absolute poverty refers to a condition where individuals lack basic human needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. On the other hand, relative poverty is a state where an individual’s income or resources are significantly lower than the average within a society. The poverty line, which is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country, is a crucial tool in measuring poverty. Another important measure is the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which considers multiple deprivations in health, education, and living standards.

    Causes of Poverty

    Poverty is a result of a combination of economic, social, and political factors. Economic factors include unemployment and inequality in income distribution. Social factors encompass lack of education and social exclusion, while political factors involve corruption and poor governance. These factors often interplay, creating a vicious cycle that traps individuals and communities in poverty.

    Impacts of Poverty

    Poverty has far-reaching impacts on individuals, society, and the economy. For individuals, poverty can lead to health issues and limited access to education. At the societal level, poverty can result in increased crime rates and social instability. Economically, poverty can lower productivity and cause economic instability.

    Traditional Approaches to Alleviating Poverty

    Traditional approaches to alleviating poverty have primarily involved government interventions and non-governmental organizations. Government interventions include social safety nets and job creation programs, while non-governmental organizations often engage in charity work and community development projects. While these approaches have had some success, they often fail to address the root causes of poverty.

    The Role of Coaching in Alleviating Poverty

    Coaching, a relatively new approach to poverty alleviation, has shown promising results. Coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future. It empowers individuals by building self-confidence and enhancing skills and capabilities. At the community level, coaching can promote a culture of self-reliance and foster community development.

    Case Studies: Successful Coaching Programs in Poverty Alleviation

    Several coaching programs have successfully contributed to poverty alleviation in both developing and developed countries. These programs have empowered individuals and communities to break the cycle of poverty and create sustainable change.


    Understanding poverty in its entirety is crucial for effective poverty alleviation. While traditional approaches have their merits, coaching offers a transformative solution that addresses the root causes of poverty. By empowering individuals and communities, coaching can play a significant role in poverty alleviation. Therefore, it is essential to encourage more adoption of coaching in poverty alleviation efforts.