What we do

The Poverty Alliance has extensive experience conducting research on poverty and inequality. Our expertise includes:

  • Activity focusing on drawing out the policy and practice implications of the lived experience of poverty
  • Supporting community and peer-led research
  • Carrying out qualitative research on issues of poverty
  • Work on issues related to beliefs and attitudes about poverty

We specialise in participatory research, creative methods, evaluations, and conducting systematic reviews. We work with a range of organisations and academic partners, and have previously delivered projects for commissioners and funders such as the Scottish Government, the Robertson Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Poverty and Inequality Commission.


With our policy and communications team at the Poverty Alliance, we use our research evidence to influence sharing our research with politicians, policy makers and practitioners in Scotland and the UK. To see publications from our research projects please see here.

Work with us

At the Poverty Alliance, we are always keen to work with others to provide evidence through our research. We also offer our expertise and advice to other projects and organisations. For more information please contact our Research and Information Manager at

Research publications

Cover page of 'It's hard work being poor report'

“It’s hard work being poor” – Women’s Experiences of the Cost-of-Living Crisis in Scotland

This report by the Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Women’s Budget Group shares the experiences of women in Scotland on low incomes affected by the cost-of-living crisis. Through interviews and journals, a diverse group of women on low incomes shared deepening experiences of poverty and hardship including hunger and being cold. Alongside this, some women … Read more

Women s Experience of the Cost of Living Crisis - Research Briefing

’I don’t live. I survive.‘

This briefing shares the experiences of women in Scotland affected by the cost-of-living crisis. This joint project conducted by the Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, is exploring women’s experiences over a three-month period from August to October 2022. Ahead of the Scottish Government’s Emergency Budget Review this interim briefing highlights emerging findings … Read more

Rights in Action Literature Review

Part of our Rights in Action project, our research team set out to explore the understanding and awareness of economic, social and cultural rights amongst marginalised communities in Scotland and to examine how organisations in Scotland have adopted human rights-based approaches.

Summary Briefing: Poverty, Economy and Mental Health

This paper reports on key areas of mental health and poverty research in Scotland that emerged from discussions at the Poverty, Economy and Mental Health Roundtable held on 18th January 2022, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and The Poverty Alliance. We note five broad key research gaps identified by participants as requiring to be … Read more

How well is Universal Credit supporting people in Glasgow? (Sep 2018 – Sep 2019)

Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Poverty Alliance in collaboration with researchers from the University of Glasgow, conducted research on the roll-out of Universal Credit in Glasgow, exploring the experiences and perspectives of people claiming Universal Credit and the Department for Work and Pensions staff delivering it. The findings and key recommendations from the … Read more

Mental health, welfare conditionality and employment support (May – Oct 2020)

Funded by the Health Foundation, with the University of Glasgow, the Poverty Alliance developed a targeted set of recommendations at the Scottish and wider UK level on reforming welfare conditionality and employment support for people experiencing mental health problems. Read the recommendations.

Transport and Child Poverty in Scotland (Nov 2020 – Mar 2021)

Commissioned by Transport Scotland, the Poverty Alliance conducted research on affordability and availability of public transport in Scotland for families and young people living on low incomes. You can read read the full report here.

Evaluation of Fife Gingerbread Volunteer Buddy Project (2019 – 2021)

The Poverty Alliance is conducting an external evaluation of the Fife Gingerbread Buddy Network, overseeing its delivery and growth of its volunteer programme. This evaluation seeks to provide evidence of the impact that the volunteer programme has had through understanding the impact of volunteering for those involved in the programme and on the wider community as well … Read more

Tackling the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland (2021)

Commissioned by The Robertson Trust, the Poverty Alliance conducted a review of the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland highlighting the scale and nature of gaps in attainment between children and young people living in the most and least deprived areas alongside a review of effective interventions and approaches that have been demonstrated to close the … Read more

Research blog

PhD opportunity to explore poverty and mental health

April 28, 2022

The Poverty Alliance is delighted to be collaborating with Strathclyde Centre for Health Policy, Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, The UK Mental Health Foundation and New York University Silver School of Social Work on this PhD opportunity. Poverty and Mental Health The PhD at Strathclyde will examine the role that community based organisations can … Read more

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