IPD’s Poverty Task Force seeks to analyze the effects of economic policies on poverty, and examine alternative policies to promote poverty reduction. Poverty concerns are intertwined with virtually every aspect of development, however this project focuses on the impact of trade liberalization on the poor, the effect of commodity price volatility on the rural poor who produce export crops, the sequencing of reforms and the areas in which sequencing errors are likely to have a serious poverty impact, and the effect of different institutional frameworks on poverty.

The Task Force also examines the importance of education and empowerment on poverty alleviation. Investment in education is usually seen as vital, but some evidence suggests that under certain circumstances this might not be the case. It also explores how governments committed to eradicating poverty have reinforced policy changes through empowerment of poor groups.