This report provides a synthesis of studies conducted by the Participate Participatory Research Group (PRG) in 29 countries, and attempts to identify and draw out the patterns of change that emerge across them from people’s accounts of their own experiences of moving in or out of poverty and marginalisation. The Participate PRG is a network of organisations committed to bringing knowledge from the margins into decision-making at every level of society. In all 18 studies, PRG members conducted research using diverse participatory approaches, ranging from oral testimonies to Theatre for Development.
The aim of this research, unlike that of parallel studies that have contributed to the post-2015 debate, is not to get a representative sample of the priorities of people living in extreme poverty and marginalisation, or even to map their poverty. The aim has been to get an in-depth understanding of how people living in extreme poverty and marginalisation experience change in their lives, and the different factors that contribute to either negative or positive change. Most of all, this research calls us to bear witness to the depth of insight and intelligence of people who face extremely difficult circumstances – and pay attention to what this can offer those who seek to promote development.