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WeD researchersare studying poverty in developing countries
WeD researchers are currently studying why poverty persists in developing countries and are currently carrying out research in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and Thailand
Campaign launch
Dr Allister McGregor, Director of the WeD research group

Press Release - 22 February 2005

Bath researchers support campaign launch, asking “How will we make poverty history?”

Researchers from the University of Bath are lending their support to a national campaign that is aiming to bring an end to world poverty.

The Bath arm of the Make Poverty History campaign will be launched at a public gathering on Saturday 26 February outside the Abbey, and will be supported by researchers from the University’s Wellbeing in Developing Countries (WeD) research group, together with members of the public.

The researchers are supporting the campaign because they believe that the combination of public concern, increased funding for poverty eradication and the findings of research can combine to make a significant impact to ending poverty in developing countries in the coming years.

The WeD researcher group are currently studying why poverty persists in developing countries and are currently carrying out research in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Peru and Thailand. The aim of their research is to provide a better understanding of the causes of poverty as a basis for more effective poverty eradication measures in the future.

“The year 2005 has great potential to be a landmark year in the fight against global poverty,” said Dr Allister McGregor, the Director of the WeD research group. “But, while public concern may be high and politicians may be able to raise the money, we also need to make sure that the money is spent in ways that will actually make a lasting difference in the lives of poor men, women and children in developing countries.”

Key political figures including Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have loudly and publicly declared their commitment to raising the millions of dollars needed to achieve the poverty reduction goals.

Activities including the Make Poverty History campaign, the review of the Millennium Development Goals, the UK presidency over G8 and EU, Commission for Africa, anniversary of Live Aid and Global Week of Action, all promise to provide significant momentum towards achieving these goals.

At the same time there is huge public awareness and support throughout the world. The British public is once again demonstrating its tremendous enthusiasm and generosity in providing money to tackle the outrageous poverty witnessed in Africa and in many other developing areas of the world

“All of this could come to naught if we are not able to ensure that development funding is used effectively. The missing link between the enthusiasm of the public and policy momentum at the moment, is pressure to ensure that the policies adopted will be built upon an accurate understanding of why poverty persists and is reproduced for so many people in so many different developing countries,” said Dr McGregor.

“Research has an important contribution to make at this time. Attempts to eradicate poverty will be compromised if governments and aid agencies are not able to generate a clear and thorough understanding of the processes that produce poverty, and then apply this systematically in their work.”

The launch of the campaign in Bath will take place on Saturday 26th February 2005 starting at 11.30 with the main event taking place at 12.00. Organisers are encouraging people to turn up wearing a white top to be part of a human chain wrapped by the white band which symbolises this campaign.

More information on the Make Poverty History campaign launch in Bath is available from Fiona Remnant on 07974 910 257. Full details of the campaign are available on the campaign website.


This WeD research group at the University of Bath is dedicated to the study of poverty, inequality and the quality of life in developing countries. The purpose of its current research programme is to develop a coherent conceptual and methodological framework for understanding the social and cultural construction of well-being in specific developing societies. The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. The University has strong links with its local community, offering its facilities, business acumen and academic expertise to local people and businesses.