Indigenous Peoples, Poverty and Development

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Blogging from the World Bank's Indigenous Peoples Research Dissemination Workshop in Washington DC.

ImageAs is well known, there are more 300 million indigenous peoples in the world.  While they make up fewer than 5 percent of the global population they account for about 10 percent of the world’s poor.  Next year, Cambridge University Press will publish my book with Gillette Hall on the state of the world’s indigenous peoples

As part of the dissemination process, we have brought together most of the contributors to our volume for a workshop in Washington D.C. today, to share their research with each other and with an audience of World Bank staff, researchers and others from the development community. We expect a lively discussion on our forthcoming publication, which covers countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. 

We also wanted to use the occasion to raise some policy issues about Indigenous peoples, poverty and development. Understanding the characteristics of their poverty could help us formulate solutions for their improved well-being. 

Our research finds that indigenous peoples are the poorest of the poor, but the level of poverty varies by country, and indigenous peoples/ethnic minorities/tribal groups in some parts of the world have been making great gains in recent years – China, Vietnam, India – while we see more stagnation in other parts – especially Latin America.


Our event, which begins at 10 AM Eastern Standard Time, will start with a greeting from the Vice-President of the Human Development Network of the World Bank, Ms. Tamar Manuelyan Atinc. We will also hear from researchers from academia studying indigenous peoples in Latin America and researchers from Canada.   

Throughout the day, you can follow along to stay updated on events as they proceed. To read more about our work on indigenous peoples, check out: the agenda for the workshop and our indigenous peoples website for more resources. 


Harry A. Patrinos

Senior Adviser, Education

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