This panel focuses on the psychosocial side of poverty, seeking to present new research and stimulate debate about psychosocial causes and effects of poverty (including issues of shame, hope, aspirations) and how policies can engage with these.
Greater understanding of the psychosocial side of poverty will be crucial for 'opening up development'. Reflections of lived experiences of poverty provide insight into complex realities that are context-specific but also share commonalities across places and spaces. The latter may hold especially true in times of austerity and widespread contraction of public services across the global North and South. Investigations into the psychosocial side of poverty give rise to questions such as: How does poverty affect psychological wellbeing, and lead to feelings of shame, reduced cognitive bandwidth, or withdrawal from social situations? How do psychosocial effects of poverty impede efforts to reduce poverty, both from individual and wider social perspectives? Can interventions that aim to improve psychosocial outcomes, such as hope or aspirations, play a role in poverty reduction? In this session, we - the Study Group on Multidimensional Poverty and Poverty Dynamics - together with the panellists explore psychosocial dimensions of poverty from across low and middle-income countries. The panel traverses disciplines and contexts, reflecting on the linkages between inequality and mental wellbeing in China, aspirations and urban-rural migration in India and intergenerational transmission of psychosocial wellbeing in Latin America.