In this paper, an isotropic porous metal plasticity model accounting for both void growth by diffuse plastic deformation and void 'coalescence' by localization of plastic flow in the inter-void ligaments is presented. Predictions for the effective stress-strain response, evolution of damage and the strains to failure are obtained by integrating the model numerically under triaxial proportional loading conditions. The model predictions are compared with results from micromechanical finite element simulations of the average response of voided unit cells under similar loading conditions. It is shown that the model predictions for the failure strains as a function of the loading path are in good qualitative agreement with the results of the cell model simulations. © 2017 International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering. All rights reserved.