Research on poverty is highly fragmented and technical, the work mostly of specialists who analyze data using statistical methods. However, policymakers and researchers also need to understand poverty in a broader, more integrated way. How does one construct such an overview? No definite methodology can be suggested, because the literature is not all commensurable or quantified, and even statistical research involves judgments. Interpreters, like policy analysts, should appeal to multiple and reliable sources, prefer impartial research, cite the full range of findings, consider program experience as well as academic studies, and take a position on the psychology of poverty.
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