About us

This website was set up as part of the Poverty and Social Exclusion in the United Kingdom research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. This research, which ran from 2010/11 to 2014/15, is the largest ever undertaken into poverty and social exclusion in the UK and was a collaboration between the University of Bristol (lead), Heriot-Watt University, The Open University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Glasgow and the University of York.

In 2019, the site was expanded to cover research studies using the consensual approach to measuring poverty taking place in other countries across the world. This expansion has been led by the University of Bristol and Cardiff University.

In 2023, the website was further expanded to include a searchable database of questions asked around the world in surveys using the consensual method.

This website provides: 

  • a comprehensive overview of different approaches to measuring poverty in Definitions of poverty
  • full details of the research project and its findings in PSE research
  • coverage of the latest research using the consensual approach in countries across the World and its application for meeting the development goals of the UN
  • a searchable database of questions asked around the world in surveys using the consensual method
  • a range of videos on the lives of people living on low incomes in Living in Poverty
  • details of collaborations between community groups and the PSE UK research project in Communities
  • a chance to take the PSE attitudes to necessities Surveys online 

We will try to help with any queries you have and any requests for further information or speakers from the PSE project team. So do: contact us.

The website is run by Joanna Mack (University of Bristol and The Open University) and funded by the Townsend Centre for International Poverty research at the University of Bristol. It is maintained by Dial Solutions in Leeds.

PSE UK research project

The main stage of the PSE UK project ran from 2010 to 2014. The project team members during this period were:

University of Bristol: David Gordon, the Principal Investigator (PI); Esther Dermott; Eldin Fahmy;  Pauline Helsop;  Ruth Levitas; Christina Pantazis; Demi Patsios; Simon Pemberton (now at University of Birmingham); Sarah Payne; Eileen Sutton; Marco Pomati (now at University of Cardiff); and Nikki Hicks (project manager).
University of Glasgow: Professor Nick Bailey (lead), Mark Livingston and Maria Gannon.
Heriot Watt University: Glen Bramley (lead) and Kirsten Besemer (now at Griffith University, Brisbane)
The Open University: Joanna Mack (lead), joined by Gabi Kent, Sasah Laurel Jagroo and Stewart Lansley
Queen's University, Belfast: Professor Mike Tomlinson (lead), Professor Mary Daly (now at University of Oxford), Professor Paddy Hillyard and Dr Grace Kelly. This team were joined by Ronan Smyth, Lisa Wilson and Kirsty McLaughlin.
University of York: Jonathan Bradshaw (lead) and Gill Main (now at University of Leeds)
working with
National Centre for Social Research : Emma Driver, Jo Maher and Tracy Anderson
The research team has an immense amount of experience in poverty and social exclusion methodology. Joanna Mack was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the 1983 Breadline Britain survey, which pioneered the consensual method for measuring poverty used in this research, and (with Stewart Lansley) the 1990 Breadline Britain survey. Professor Jonathan Bradshaw was the PI for the PSE 1999 survey and Professor Paddy Hillyard was the PI for the 2002/3 PSE Northern Ireland survey. Professor David Gordon is the Director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol. For further details including the UK and international advisory boards, see PSE project team

PSE website development

The website was developed by The Open University and was organised through the educational media production centre at The Open University (LTS).  The PSE web team members were:

Joanna Mack (lead), Stewart Lansley (editorial development), Gabi Kent (Community development), Sasha Laurel Jagroo (feedback and monitoring),  Pete Mitton (visualisation developer and technical lead) with (from 2011 to 2013) Tammy Alexander (Project manager), Jamie Daniels (Lead web developer), Jennifer Nockles (Production editor), Glen Darby (Graphic designer), Hong Yu (Web developer), Sharon Telfer (Facts and Findings, production) and (from 2013) Beverley Parker and Steve Yates of Xited Limited  (web development) and Damian Driscoll of Dial Solutions (systems management).

The website was expanded in 2019 to introduce a new World section, led by Joanna Mack with the support of Steve Yates of Xited Ltd.

Pulling together questions database was overseen by David Gordon, Joanna Mack and Shailen Nandy with a team of researchers from the University of Bristol, including Lijianan Zhang, Alam Hossain, Alvin Hui, Bongai Munguni, and Cynthia Fonta. It was developed by Phil and James Driscoll at Dial Solutions.

Details of the PSE 2012 research are lodged at the ESRC: ESRC grant reference: RES-060-25-0052

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