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This article reports on an ex-ante impact study in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia. The study, guided by a livelihoods approach, developed a spatial-mapping methodology based on secondary data for 18 variables which served as indicators of the five livelihood classes of assets (natural, physical, financial, social, and human). The overall livelihood-asset index showed a significant and strong negative correlation (R = -0.65, P = 0.00) with the national poverty line, with poverty peaking in districts where the assets base was lowest, and vice versa. The livelihood-assets approach has broader application, for example for ex-post impact assessment.

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