Annals of Humanities and Development Studies

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Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria: Reflections on Methodology

Simon Odey Ering, Okorie Kalu Osonwa, Joshua O. Nweke


Policies and programmes aimed at addressing poverty have been initiated and pursued since Nigeria’s political independence in 1960. Most of these policies and programmes have had minimal or no significant effect in changing the well-being of the rural poor. The paper takes a critical reflection on methodology adopted in poverty alleviation programmes since 1960 in Nigeria. In it, we have argued that past poverty alleviation policies and programmes have been elitist and non-participatory, especially by the target population. In most cases the designs for poverty alleviations are characterized by improper conceptualization, grandiosity and lack of social justice even in implementation. Based on the findings, we recommended that poverty alleviation policies and programmes must involve the people (target group) from the initiation to the execution stages. We suggested a paradigm shift in the process of policy making and implementation to involve the local people (those at the grassroot), based on participatory development approach. This approach will make for sustainable development.

Keywords: Poverty, alleviation programmes, theoretical reflections

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