This report introduces a new way of looking at things - the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) - and uses it to bring together perspectives on a range of issues around poverty in the UK.

SLA develops the view that people living in poverty are rational agents with assets to draw upon. As a result, the question about poverty moves from 'what do people in poverty lack?' to something more akin to 'what is preventing people from using what they have to get ahead?'

A key aspect of SLA is the recognition that people's livelihoods are affected by decisions made within structures across the full spectrum, from the individual, household and community levels up to local, national and even international policy levels. So this report aims to make a valuable contribution to the policy debate on the issues it addresses, and to encourage new ways of thinking about poverty more broadly. There are also recommendations throughout the report that could usefully spur a range of individuals and organisations, at all levels, into action.

Chapters were written by Niall Cooper (Church Action on Poverty), Lucy Brill and Moussa Haddad (Oxfam), Rachel Newton (Urban Forum) and Jenni Viitanen (IPPR North), and the report was edited by Ed Cox, also of IPPR North.