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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-9276-11-43) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-9276-11-72.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
LÅP, CK, RP, and EZ designed the HDSS. EZ and RP supervised data collection. CK designed the intervention survey. WP performed the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript. EZ, CK, RP, and LÅP participated in data interpretation and drafting of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Millennium Development Goal 1 encourages local initiatives for the eradication of extreme poverty. However, monitoring is indispensable to insure that actions performed at higher policy levels attain success. Poverty in rural areas in low- and middle-income countries remains chronic. Nevertheless, a rural area (Cuatro Santos) in northern Nicaragua has made substantial progress toward poverty eradication by 2015. We examined the level of poverty there and described interventions aimed at reducing it.
Household data collected from a Health and Demographic Surveillance System was used to analyze poverty and the transition out of it, as well as background information on family members. In the follow-up, information about specific interventions (i.e., installation of piped drinking water, latrines, access to microcredit, home gardening, and technical education) linked them to the demographic data. A propensity score was used to measure the association between the interventions and the resulting transition from poverty.
Between 2004 and 2009, poverty was reduced as a number of interventions increased. Although microcredit was inequitably distributed across the population, combined with home gardening and technical training, it resulted in significant poverty reduction in this rural area.
Sustainable interventions reduced poverty in the rural areas studied by about one- third.