Out of Poverty – What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail

Out of Poverty
256 Pages
ISBN 1605092762

Based on his 25 years of experience, Polak explodes what he calls the "Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths" : that we can donate people out of poverty, that national economic growth will end poverty, and that Big Business, operating as it does now, will end poverty.

Polak shows that programs based on these ideas have utterly failed--in fact, in sub-Saharan Africa poverty rates have actually gone up.

These failed top-down efforts contrast sharply with the grassroots approach Polak and IDE have championed: helping the dollar-a-day poor earn more money through their own efforts. Amazingly enough, unexploited market opportunities do exist for the desperately poor. Polak describes how he and others have identified these opportunities and have developed innovative, low-cost tools that have helped in lifting 17 million people out of poverty.

Paul Polak

About Paul Polak (Denver, Colorado Author)

Paul Polak

Paul Polak is founder of Colorado-based non-profits International Development enterprises (IDe) and D-Rev: Design for the Other 90% For the past 25 years, Paul has worked with thousands of farmers in countries around the world'including Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, ethiopia, Maynmar, Nepal, vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe'to help design and produce low-cost, income generating products that have already moved 17 million people out of poverty.

Before establishing IDE in 1981, Paul practiced psychiatry for 23 years in Colorado. to better understand the environments influencing his patients, Paul would visit their homes and workplaces. After a trip he made to Bangladesh, he was inspired to use the skills he had honed while working with homeless veterans and mentally ill patients in Denver to serve the 800 million people living on a dollar a day around the world. employing the same tactics he pioneered as a psychiatrist, Paul spent time 'walking with farmers through their one-acre farms and enjoying a cup of tea with their families, sitting on a stool in front of their thatched-roof mud-and-wattle homes.'