Helping to shape global conversations on poverty to 2015 and beyond: a shame-proofing toolkit

This project implemented a multi-media, multi-agency dissemination and utilisation strategy developed from the findings of the ESRC/DFID research project: Shame, Poverty and Social Exclusion: A comparative analysis in seven countries. The study found that people in poverty often experience shame because they cannot afford fully to participate in society and because they are shamed by public agencies and by language used by politicians and the media. Poverty-related shame limits individual agency and may therefore help perpetuate poverty.

In the context of global discussions about renewal of the Millennium Development Goals, the project aimed to inform public, media and policy debates around poverty. A core component of the project is a web-based resource designed to sensitise policy makers, practitioners and the wider public to the psychosocial consequences of poverty.  Partnerships with ATD-Fourth World, Mediae, the Media Trust and Pegasus Theatre generated new, engaging and thought provoking content for wide dissemination, while parallel policy work sought to establish and promote principles and a template to ensure that social protection and welfare policies promote rather than undermine human dignity and agency.

DSPI Principal Investigator: Professor Robert Walker
Funded by: Economic & Social Research Council

Completed: 2014