D.K. Srivastava
Q-SQUARED: QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE METHODS OF POVERTY APPRAISAL by Ravi Kanbur Permanent Black, Delhi, 2004, 168 pp., 195.00
April 2004, volume 28, No 4

Poverty and its underlying causes has been the subject of intense research in recent years attracting researchers from a variety of disciplines. Attempts at investigating poverty in its different ramifications have been undertaken under alternative methodological perspectives. These alternative perspective are sometimes described by terms like numerical versus non-numerical, general versus specific, quantitative versus qualitative, and ‘established’ versus ‘participatory’. The book under review deals with the qualitative (henceforth, QL) and quantitative (henceforth, QN) methods of poverty appraisal and brings together the proceedings of a workshop on “Qualitative and Quantitative Poverty Appraisal: Complementarities, Tensions and Way Forward” held at Cornell University on March 15-16, 2001. With 21 contributions examining the issue from various angles, the book, while rich in quality, does not lack in quantity either. The contributors are drawn from poverty researchers of non-poor countries, largely from the faculty of Cornell University, the World Bank, the Overseas Development Institute in London, the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, and the Centre for International Studies in Toronto. The QN approach was almost exclusively represented by economists while the spokespersons for the QL approach came from a variety of other disciplines.

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