We undertake a wide range of studies in poverty, deprivation and inequality to help provide the evidence base for policies to address these three prominent socio-economic challenges across the UK.
We take a broad view of the meaning of poverty and deprivation. Although we employ money metric poverty lines in some of our work, we are strongly committed to approaches which look instead at multi-dimensional deprivation. Furthermore, in our work, we endeavour to move beyond minimalist or survival measures of poverty/deprivation. Indeed we go beyond seeing poverty as the failure to meet basic human needs. We see poverty as lacking the resources to participate fully in society. As Prof Peter Townsend put it so clearly as regards deprivation:
“People can be said to be deprived if they lack the types of diet, clothing, housing, household facilities and fuel and environmental, educational, working and social conditions, activities and facilities which are customary, or at least widely encouraged and approved, in the societies to which they belong [….] People may not fall below the majority’s standard of living but they may fall below what could be the majority’s standard—given a better redistribution of resources or a reorganisation of institutions in that society” Townsend, P. (1987) ‘Deprivation’, Journal of Social Policy, Vol. 16, Part 2, p 126
We also take a broad view on the meaning of inequality. Whilst we acknowledge the importance of national measures of income inequality such as the Gini coefficient, we also endeavour to look beyond these conventional measures in order to better understand people’s ‘lived experience’ of inequality. We see the lived experience of inequality as being shaped by the economic, social and physical environments in which people conduct their day-to-day lives and, as such, we contend that people’s experiences of inequality can vary according to where within the country they live, work, study, socialise and travel etc. Our research into inequality therefore includes a spatial element which distinguishes it from the conventional national measures.
deprivation.org is a not-for-profit company registered as a company limited by guarantee in the UK in 2014 with Company number: 09203970.