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CROP (Comparative Research Programme on Poverty) was established with a secretariat in Bergen in 1993 in order to promote social science research that theorises and provides understanding of poverty in a global context.

CROP has two institutional sponsors, the University of Bergen (UiB) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). In 2009 the ISSC signed an agreement with UiB incorporating CROP into the university's academic and administrative environment.

The CROP Secretariat has a scientific director and supporting scientific and administrative staff. Responsibility for the general orientation of the scientific content of the programme falls primarily on the Scientific Committee (SC).