Adding a legal dimension to multidimensional poverty | Paul Prettitore
Last month, the Metropolitan Policy Program and the Center on Children and Families at Brookings released a study on multidimensional poverty and race in America. The study shows why it’s important to look at poverty through the dimensions of low household income, limited education, lack of health insurance, concentrated spatial poverty, and unemployment, and why we should consider ways to de-cluster and reduce the links between them.
For the last couple years I have been conducting research on the relationship between the justice sector and poverty. More recently my research has focused on the links between legal problems and poverty. Why a focus on legal problems? Because they are often a symptom of a combination of poor policy, inadequate legal and regulatory frameworks, and weak delivery of public services.
In this context, it becomes quickly evident how legal problems are an integral part of poverty. Our most recent research explores the role of legal problems in pushing the vulnerable into poverty, and in preventing households from escaping poverty. Research is currently being piloted in three upper-middle-income countries—Jordan, Colombia, and Peru.