The paper examines perceptions of poverty among poor livestock keepers in Kenya. The study utilized discourse analysis techniques to evaluate community values towards the poor. The results demonstrated that most study participants viewed poverty as a process rather than a permanent state. The findings also highlighted the differences between the rich and the poor in terms of capabilities. When the results were compared with a wealth ranking exercise, two types of bias were noted. First, wealth-ranking exercises may not be targeting those who are the most needy. Second, projects and programmes may be viewed as assisting those who are responsible for their own poverty.
Journal of International Development (2001) 13 (7) 863-875 [DOI: 10.1002/jid.828]