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Using an asset-based approach to identify drivers of sustainable rural growth and poverty reduction in Central America : a conceptual framework


  • Siegel, Paul B.


The asset-based approach considers links between households'productive, social, and locational assets; the policy, institutional, and risk context; household behavior as expressed in livelihood strategies; and well-being outcomes. For sustainable poverty reducing growth, it is critical to examine household asset portfolios and understand how assets interact with the context to influence the selection of livelihood strategies, which in turn determine well-being. Policy reforms can change the context and income-generating potential of assets. Investments can add new assets or increase the efficiency of existing household assets, and also improve households'risk management capacity to protect assets. After all is said and done, a household's asset portfolio will determine whether growth and poverty reduction can be achieved and sustained over time. The asset-based framework is amendable to different analytical techniques. Siegel suggests combining quantitative and qualitative spatial and household level analyses (and linked spatial and household level analyses) to deepen understanding of the complex relationships between assets, context, livelihood strategies, and well-being outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Siegel, Paul B., 2005. "Using an asset-based approach to identify drivers of sustainable rural growth and poverty reduction in Central America : a conceptual framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3475, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3475

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Akter, Shaheen & Farrington, John, 2008. "Poverty transition through targeted programme: the case of Bangladesh Poultry Model," 82nd Annual Conference, March 31 - April 2, 2008, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, UK 42306, Agricultural Economics Society.
    2. Alwang, Jeffrey & Jansen, Hans G.P. & Siegel, Paul B. & Pichon, Francisco, 2005. "Geographic space, assets, livelihoods and well-being in rural Central America," DSGD discussion papers 26, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Hans G.P. Jansen & Paul B. Siegel & Jeffrey Alwang & Francisco Pichón, 2005. "Geography, Livelihoods and Rural Poverty in Honduras: An Empirical Analysis using an Asset-base Approach," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 134, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    4. World Bank, 2004. "Drivers of Sustainable Rural Growth and Poverty Reduction in Central America : Honduras Case Study, Volume 1. Executive Summary and Main Text," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14399, The World Bank.
    5. Claudia Bouroncle & Pablo Imbach & Beatriz Rodríguez-Sánchez & Claudia Medellín & Armando Martinez-Valle & Peter Läderach, 2017. "Mapping climate change adaptive capacity and vulnerability of smallholder agricultural livelihoods in Central America: ranking and descriptive approaches to support adaptation strategies," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 123-137, March.
    6. Valenzuela, Irina, 2013. "Activos y contexto económico: Factores relacionados con la pobreza en el Perú," Working Papers 2013-013, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    7. Par Mardochée & Christian Mabi, 2015. "« Les actifs productifs influencent-ils le niveau de revenu en milieu rural ? Evidence empirique issue de Shabunda/Est de la RD Congo »," Working Papers hal-01202322, HAL.
    8. Carmen Diana Deere & Gina E. Alvarado & Jennifer Twyman, 2012. "Gender Inequality in Asset Ownership in Latin America: Female Owners vs Household Heads," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(2), pages 505-530, March.


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