The term poverty has been described in different ways throughout the world due to its multidimensional nature.Whereas some countries and geographical regions view poverty as deprivation, others are concerned with socialexclusion and inequality in resource distribution. Despite the differences in poverty interpretations, manycountries in the developing world have adopted universal poverty reduction approaches over the years. Thispaper analyzes the conceptual underpinnings of poverty focusing on its evolution, the multidimensionaldefinitions, and poverty reduction efforts implemented over the past 50 years. Using secondary data analysis, thepaper reveals the universal approaches to poverty reduction have yielded few successes, and recommends thatpoverty should be viewed as a global phenomenon but tackled at the local level using local indicators. Toachieve sustainable development, developing countries should focus on meeting the basic needs of theirinhabitants and be committed to ensuring stable political and economic environment.