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This book is the first in a three-part series, about the common patterns that emerged from the poor people ' s experiences in many different places. Chapter 1 sets out the conceptual framework and methodology. Chapter 2 discusses poverty from the perspective of the poor. Chapter 3 examines poor people ' s experience with the state, and includes case studies of access to health care and education. Chapter 4 addresses the nature and quality of poor people ' s interactions with civil society. Chapter 5 considers the household as a key social institution, and discusses gender relations within households and how these relations affect and are affected by larger institutions of society. Chapter 6 focuses on social fragmentation, and includes a discussion of social cohesion and social exclusion. Chapter 7 concludes the analysis and proposes some policy recommendations. The analysis leads to these conclusions: 1) poverty is multidimensional; 2) the state has been largely ineffective in reaching the poor; 3) the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the lives of the poor is limited, forcing the poor to depend primarily on their own informal networks; 4) households are crumbling under the stresses of poverty; and 5) the social fabric - poor people ' s only " insurance " - is unraveling.

Publisher: World Bank

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