Access to a voice

View Large ImageIn 1999, the World Bank conducted a survey amongst 60,000 people living on less than a dollar a day.

When asked what they felt would make the greatest difference to their lives, the number one answer, above even food and shelter, was access to a voice.

photo credit:

More thoughts on this, from Sri Lanka.


  1. Hi Graeme,

    Here it is:
    James D. Wolfensohn President, The World Bank, 1999

    An interesting excerpt from the speech:

    ‘But these poor people came out with some fascinating findings in this study, and the first one that differentiates poor people from rich people is lack of voice, the inability to be represented, the inability to convey to the people in authority what it is that they think, the inability to have a search light put on the conditions of inequity. These people we interviewed do not have PhDs, but they have the knowledge of poverty, and the first thing they talk about is not money, it’s lack of voice, it’s lack of the ability to express themselves.’

    The larger publication, by the World Bank, is called Consultations with the Poor.

    These links should have been in that post, it must have been a lazy day.


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