From the 578 documents reviewed in the process of selecting the core definitions of poverty, three broad categories were utilized in the screening of the documents: the main among the had to relate to poverty, secondly, each document had to contain a unique and original definition of poverty, and finally, the authorship to correspond to the key actors involved that is the researcher, donors, government, and NGOs. To uncover the deeper layers of meaning within definitions and changes, the diachronic analysis disaggregated topics, themes, and frames within the definitions. Huckin (2002) states that each definition was first disaggregated into basic component parts or topics, once they were identified they were grouped according to their semantic meaning for example topics such as housing, assets, and clothes were grouped according to material assets or possessions while topics such as food, nutrition, and life expectancy were categorized as physical factors. The definitions varied in their length and complexity. Some definitions were formed by a single theme while in more length definitions, the themes were embedded in one another.
From the findings, the majority of definitions of poverty were sourced in documents written by development agencies and researchers with fewer non- governmental organizations and national government. One of the reason for this as argued by Edwards and Hulme (1992) reveals that governments and NGOs are largely the implementers of development praxis. Secondly, NGOs and government literature often repeated definitions offered by both researchers and donors, this literature was least original and therefore least represented. Gill (1970) argues that NGOs programmes in the past were more independent and did not mirror donor interests today for example during the 1970s, NGOs were less interested in poverty per se than disaster mitigation and family relief as stated by Gill (1970), Twedt (1998) and Maxwell (2001).