Out of Poverty
Paul Polak
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Buy *Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail* by Paul Polak online

Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
Paul Polak
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
256 pages
September 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Paul Polak is the founder of International Development Enterprises. The organization cooperates with rural farmers to help lift them out of poverty. Their mission: to help the world's poorest farmers develop opportunities in high-value, labor-intensive cash crops, as well as help provide access to affordable agricultural tools.

Polak shares his background, and his methods in Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail. Polak aims the book at small farms across the globe, each dealing with similar issues and circumstances. He brings a refreshing level of common sense, and years of experience, to the table. He has many ideas to help small farms cut unnecessary costs and develop access to income-generating technologies. He believes anyone can come out of poverty because there are simple, often obvious solutions.

Chapter one lays out his twelve steps to practical problem-solving, while in chapter two he discusses the myths associated with poverty - and why many so-called solutions only help the problem. From there, he moves between topics both broad and narrow, generic and specific, all with the easy manner of a guy sitting down to a cup of coffee.

Much of the book is dedicated to the Thapa family - a Nepali family of twelve. While barely surviving, family leader Krishna Bahadur Thapa was able to turn his small farm around to what is now considered an upper-middle class life. The troubles and prosperity of the Thapa family is treated as more than a mere case study. Polak's genuine human connection is a welcome addition to a book that could have been just about the numbers.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Zane Ewton, 2009

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