This paper looks at inheritance through minimally-structured interviews with several generations of Kenyan families, seeking to explain that the how and why of poverty can be understood in the wider family context. Five main routes for ascending out of poverty were identified: (1) the gradual accumulation of resources due to income deriving from cash crops; (2) the gradual accumulation of resources due to income from non-farm work, including remittances from family member who have moved away for work; (3) the role of education, particularly skills training opposed to academic qualification, in helping provide employment; (4) accessing financial assets through support both from extended family members and from informal support mechanisms; (5) stability and benefits accruing from long-term strategic planning, including entrepreneurial activity. Both the ascent out of and the descent into poverty can be better conceived as processes, rather than due to chains of discrete events or specific \"shocks\".
CPRC Working Paper No. 219, Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK, ISBN: 978-1-908536-16-7, 49 pp.