Four algorithms were used for each peer group to identify the different characteristics of poverty or causes of poverty.

Picture Exercise:

An array of pictures cut out of magazines is spread out on the floor; participants chose pictures they feel are related to poverty or associated with poverty and explain why they chose this particular picture i.e. similarities with his/her life experience. Participants can take 2 or 3 pictures. Participants have to explain their own opinions and what they understand; they are not allowed to consult with others.

Poverty Snake:


This activity started with a word which was “Poverty”. In the group, the first person says “poverty” and the next person has to say something related to poverty from his/her life. In this way, everyone has to choose a word related to the word the previous person has said. Facilitators take note of these words and later glue them on a big poster in the form of a snake.

Body Map:


Participants are presented with the picture of a person or preferably asked to draw a person. They are then told that the person is in poverty and asked: what is on the person’s mind? What is their heart? What does their gut feel about poverty? What do their eyes notice about poverty? What about their nose; what does it smell?


What do their legs think of poverty? What about their arms and their hands? This process typically generates a list of thoughts about the nature of poverty which can be further discussed.

Good Side and Bad Side:

Participate sit together and think about the good things in their lives at present and share them with others. Participants can tell different stories. After that, each participant has to share the worst part of the bad aspects of their lives. Note-takers will note everything and make two posters, one for the Good Side and one for the Bad Side. 

“Because of less income, poor people have no choice about their food. They have to eat whatever they get. No chance to have nutritious food”

– Practitioners