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Our book is about local realities, and about the urgent need to develop poverty-reducing strategies informed by the lives and experiences of millions of poor people in communities around the world. To do so, we must put aside our assumptions. When we look closely at the local realities of communities rather than at countries, we see movement, not only stagnation. Despite the odds, some poor people in places from Bangladesh in South Asia to Mexico in Latin America are moving up and out of poverty. At the same time, others in the same communities are stuck in poverty or falling down. We set out to find out why and how.