The United States is arguably one of the richest countries in the world. However, poverty is still an issue of great concern. This observation suggests the need for more innovative interventions to reduce severe need and create terms for meaningful participation of vulnerable individuals in economic, political, and social exchange. Using a sample of IDA program participants (N = 840), who were randomly assigned to a control and experimental group, this study explores the relationship between an asset-building intervention and social inclusion from the human capabilities perspective. Results reveal a significant relationship between participating in an IDA program and social inclusion. Although modest, these results provide a useful framework for examining factors that may affect an individual’s capacity to move from vulnerability into enhanced economic, political and social participation. They also point to a role for policy and asset-building programs in effort to empower vulnerable individuals and groups.
Subsequent publication: Lombe, M., & Sherraden, M. (2008). Effects of participating in an asset-building intervention on social inclusion. Journal on Poverty, 12(3), 284–305. doi:10.1080/10875540802198362