Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type

Dissertation Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Kristen B. Crossney, PhD

Committee Member

Francis Atuahene, PhD, MPA

Committee Member

Mark W. Davis, PhD, MPA


South Asia is home to one-fifth of the world’s population, yet the region is subject to some of the highest rates of extreme poverty globally. This scoping review covered the published literature on poverty eradication policies implemented since 1947 in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and their results, aiming to identify recurring patterns and themes across the region, which could be used to explain the differences in policy success or failure. Four themes have been identified in the research: (1) the predominance of public, as opposed to privately-funded, welfare schemes; (2) differences in impact on poverty rates; (3) inefficiencies in policy implementation and their causes; and (4) the role of international organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Results indicated that, firstly, governments have preferred short-term social support schemes over long-term social welfare programs. Secondly, poverty alleviation occurred at uneven rates throughout the region due to geographical, political stability, and funding differences, compounded by corruption, bureaucratic red tape, and political interference. Finally, NGOs, the World Bank, and other international organizations have played a significant role in bridging gaps in funding, human resources, and technical expertise. Poverty alleviation is a complex issue and demands a holistic strategy, focusing on multiple causes of poverty simultaneously. The starting point should be the collection and publication of accurate poverty statistics by governments along with regional cooperation to develop common poverty metrics. Closer economic integration can be pursued as a strategy to address poverty through regional economic development. Cooperation in other areas such as climate change and terrorism can further create an environment where welfare programs can be implemented more efficiently.