Sunday, May 7, 2017

Alleviating Poverty by Including the Poor

A great quote on poverty-alleviation:

"This book (When Helping Hurts) has already explained a number of reasons for the slow progress in poverty alleviation, but another reason needs to be highlighted: inadequate participation of poor people in the process. Researchers and practitioners have found that meaningful inclusion of poor people in the selection, design, implementation, and evaluation of an intervention increases the likelihood of that intervention's success. Unfortunately, the majority of post-World War II approaches to poverty alleviation have been highly non participatory, using a 'blueprint approach' in which the economically non-poor make all the decisions about the project and then do the project to the economically poor. The ultimate goal of the blueprint approach is often to develop a standardized product and then to roll out that product in cookie-cutter fashion on a massive scale. It's 'McDevelopment,' the fast-food-franchise approach to poverty alleviation, and it has resulted in more than 2.5 billion poor people not being well served.
Although the blueprint approach appears to be very efficient, it often fails because it imposes solutions on poor communities that are inconsistent with local culture, that are not embraced and 'owned' by the community members, or that cannot work in that particular setting."
Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, in their book, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself

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