Moore, M.

Beyond the Tarmac Road: A Guide for Rural Poverty Watchers

In conferences on RRA the 'tarmac' or 'main road bias' has been frequently listed among the biases affecting outsiders' observations and perceptions of rural poverty. Referring to fieldwork carried out in the southwestern costal zone of Sri Lanka, the paper illustrates some of the misconceptions that can result from 'tarmac' bias. Using the core-periphery approach, the paper concludes that the poor may not even be found just by taking a path off the main road.