Welcome to the Poverty - Wellbeing Shareweb


Ensuring Equity and Inclusion in Health

The IDS - SDC QA Collaboration is launching a Learning Trajectory on equity and inclusion in health within SDC. Fostering collaborative learning and knowledge-sharing to improve practice, the first event will be a webinar on 26th May.  This will focus on enhancing participants’ knowledge of the social, political and economic dimensions of equity and inclusion, particularly in relation to non-communicable diseases and health systems. Learn more »

SDC Cooperation Office Bangladesh looking for consultant in EPP

SDC Cooperation Office in Bangladesh is looking for suitable consultants to conduct a capitalization of experiences from the co-funded programme, ‘Economic Empowerment of the Poorest’. Main focus is to capitalize learnings on two main issues: Challenge Fund and Extreme poverty. Expression of Interest from interested Consultant are expected by 30 April, 2016. Download PDF to learn more »

SDC and Social Protection

Where are we now? Where are we going? watch this video to learn more about SDC's position on Social Protection in the context of the international development agenda. Watch this video and see also the related briefing papers. Learn more »
Anne Moulin, Focal Point Quality Assurance Poverty, SDC Bern

New section: Participatory Poverty Assessments

Governments and their development partners around the world are involved in formulating and implementing a range of poverty reduction policies.  The aim of Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) is to bring the voices of poor and marginalised people and their understandings of poverty into this process, thereby increasing policy effectiveness.  Without respecting and responding to how poor people experience poverty and what they see as causing it, development interventions are likely to fail. Learn more about PPAs and discover resources »


Global inequality: trends, solutions and political implications

Questions of inequality are increasingly high on the global academic and policy agenda – this shareweb’s newsfeed is but one indicator! Organisations from Oxfam to the IMF have recently published analyses of global wealth data and are weighing in on the causes and consequences of inequality at a global scale. Economist Branko Milanovic has been working on the topic of inequality since well before it became popular and recently shared his views in a keynote address at a conference on inequality organised by the Swiss Network for International Studies and the ETH. In his lecture, Milanovic addressed the question of recent trends in global income inequality and their political implications. Global income inequality refers to income inequality between world citizens, in whatever country they may reside. Read more »
Sarah Byrne, Advisor Local Governance and Civil Society, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

GSDRC Webinar: Wellbeing and extreme and persistent poverty

Join Prof Sarah White  (University of Bath) and Andrew Shepherd  (Chronic Poverty Advisory Network) to explore key issues and debates raised in their GSDRC reading packs on wellbeing and extreme and persistent poverty. The webinar will provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions, reflect on the reading packs and share their own learning from working on wellbeing and/or extreme poverty. Join the webinar»

SDC-IDS Mirror Event on Social Protection

On 18 February 2016, SDC hosted a Mirror Event on Social Protection as part of the SDC-IDS Collaboration.Presenters from the Centre for Social Protection at IDS introduced the concept and explained why social protection is important for SDC in relation to its strategic objectives and priority themes. SDC then set out preliminary findings from a light-touch mapping of social protection interventions currently supported by SDC.IDS summarised positions taken to social protection by other agencies, ranging from the instrumentalist approaches of the World Bank and World Food Programme to the rights-based approaches of ILO and UNICEF. A lively discussion followed, focusing on how SDC should engage with social protection going forward. There was consensus that a more coherent focus was needed, while recognising that the nature of SDC engagement is always context-specific and responsive to needs. Read more » 

Stephen Devereux, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

Reminding Davos delegates of global inequality

The World Economic Forum kicks off today in wintry, snow-clad Davos. The economic climate is also wintry – particularly for the world’s most economically poor and socially disadvantaged citizens. Oxfam has nicely timed the release of its most recent report on inequality just days before the Davos event, making headlines with the shocking figure that 62 individuals, 53 men and nine women, now control half of the world’s wealth. Read more »
Jane Carter, Gender & Social Equity Coordinator, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

Will the 2030 development agenda really leave no one behind?

Now that the global buzz has quieted down and the 2030 agenda has been adopted, the focus of attention is inevitably shifting to the not so minor task of the agenda’s implementation, and with that to its central promise of “leaving no one behind.”
A new report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) pays a closer look at that promise. It identifies groups most at risk of being left behind, both in developing and developed countries (since the 2030 agenda is universal and implemented by all countries). Thereby, it exhibits reduced levels of human development for groups that tend to face one or multiple forms of discrimination or exclusion based on gender, ethnicity, caste, race, religion, language, age, place of residence, social status, sexual orientation, etc. Read more»
Simone Troller, Programme Officer Conflict & Human Rights, SDC

SDC and Social Protection: where are we now, and where are we going?

On the 18-19thFebruary 2016, SDC will host an Event on Social Protection as part of the SDC-IDS Collaboration on Poverty, Politics and Power. In the last decade social protection has become an important component of development policy. While SDC supports interventions such as cash transfers in humanitarian settings and private/semi-private (agricultural) insurance schemes, it does so without particular guidance or reference to an SDC position on social protection.This event, a collaboration between SDC and the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies, will consider the question “should SDC engage further in this area and if so, how?”  It will include the development of recommendations on social protection followed by consideration and discussion of these by the SDC Directorate. You are welcome to attend the first morning session and the closing session. Read more »
Jane Stevens, Communications Coordinator, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

What does it mean to be poor in 2015 in Latin America?

Lima, 21 to 23 October 2015: the management of the SDC Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) division met with Ambassadors and Heads of Cooperation from Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru in a 3 days regional management workshop.  One slot of the workshop was dedicated to quality assurance issues with specific attention to poverty focus in SDC programing. The objective of the slot was first, to refresh participants’ knowledge about the reference frame used by SDC to apprehend poverty and its dynamics and second, to reach a common understanding on the meaning of “being poor” in the Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that has seen almost all of its countries graduating from low to middle incomes countries in the course of the last decade. Read more »
Marie Marchand, Programme Officer Division Latin America and Caribbean, SDC

Article by Anthony Atkinson: The Inequality Debate: We can do something about it

Politicians and world leaders have realized that income inequality poses a threat to the world economic system. Anthony Atkinson lays out what can be done to achieve equitable growth, looking at various factors such as the welfare state, taxes and spending, distribution of income and wealth. Learn more »

‘Leaving no one behind’ – the role of intersecting inequalities

With their pledge that 'no one will be left behind', the authors of the new Sustainable Development Goals acknowledge that the significant progress in human development achieved over the past two decades has been unevenly distributed. The progress reported for the Millennium Development Goals, while impressive, was based on averages – data aggregated at national and international levels. Such reported figures do not sufficiently represent substantial disparities and the continued exclusion of different disadvantaged groups from this progress. Addressing inequality thus emerged as a key theme in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Read more »
Sarah Byrne, Advisor Local Governance and Civil Society, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation


Video: Learning Trajectory - Roma Social Inclusion Project

Jo Howard from IDS discusses Learning Trajectories. This is a reflective learning approach which underpins the support IDS is providing to SDC's Roma Inclusion work in the Western Balkans.

New Poverty line and new numbers at the World Bank

No doubt timed to follow the announcement of the UN’s ratification of the SDGs, the World Bank released a report on 4 October stating that extreme poverty will be reduced to below 10% of the world’s global population by the end of this year. This is in line with a commitment made back in April 2013 by the Bank’s President, Dr Jim Yong Kim, to reduce extreme poverty globally to no more than 3% by the end of 2030. The rhetoric now goes further, to ending extreme poverty by that date. With the announcement of a reduction in extreme poverty comes another: that the definition of extreme poverty has been revised upwards, from living on US $ 1.25 or less per day, to US $ 1.90 per day. Read more »
Jane Carter, Gender & Social Equity Coordinator, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation





What’s your Theory of Change? A paper from ODI

Building from an international workshop in April this year, ODI published a paper last month in which Craig Valters assesses the rapid rise in the use of “Theory of Change” in development discourse, planning and management. He identifies four principles in its use: focusing on process; prioritising learning; being locally led, and “thinking compass, not map”. It is perhaps the last of these that is particularly helpful to remember when developing a theory of change, given the original intention to encourage critical reflection, and adaptation to the complexities of development realities. Valters argues that a theory of change is not a road map, but should be used to guide the direction of a development intervention across different obstacles. The paper has attracted considerable comment, both on ODI and LSE (London School of Economics) blogs by Valters himself, and in a blog by Duncan Green of Oxfam. Theories of Change: Time for a radical approach to learning in development: « ODI »  « Oxfam Blogs »



SDGs, Land Rights and Poverty

By Jane Carter. After all the reflections, discussions and high level negotiations, the SDGs are approved. National governments and the development community have a clear framework for action, and Switzerland can feel proud in having particularly supported a focus on overall health; gender equality; access to clean water and sanitation; and peaceful societies.
Although a much smaller event than the UN summit, an important international gathering took place in Bern (30 Sep - 1 Oct, 2015), for people working on a topic that is integrally related to poverty and inequality: the ownership and governance of land and resources. The Bern conference, co-hosted by the Rights and Resources Initiative, the International Land Coalition, Oxfam and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, called for action on putting rights to land and natural resources into the hands of local communities and indigenous peoples. Read more »


Beneficiary Assessment (BA) gets a Facelift

«why ba»  «tools & templates»  «reports & resources»«how to organize ba»
We are happy to announce that the Beneficiary Assessment (BA) resources on our website have been reorganised and augmented into the BA Pack! The goal is to make it easier for you to get a clear idea of what BA is, and how to go about organising one. In addition to the various reports of BAs done around the world, there are new templates for planning and implementing a BA, including budgeting, process planning, contracting and training of community researchers. There are also reflections from different BA stakeholders on the added value of BA in specific contexts, as well as the previously available resources from f2f capitalisation meetings. We hope the new look and feel is more practical and useful for everyone who wants to explore this participatory approach to project and programme assessment aimed at getting the real perspectives of primary stakeholders on development interventions. Access the BA Pack here »


How to strengthen SDC's impact on poverty reduction in Mongolia?

«Videos» «Photos» «Report [PDF]»
SDC's Cooperation Office in Mongolia organized a workshop on poverty alleviation with its partners to more explicitly integrate poverty reduction in its programme and projects. Around 22% of the population in Mongolia lives in poverty.  As in many other countries, inequalities are on the rise. Thus, despite an impressive social protection system benefitting half of the population with a generous 3% percent of GDP put on cash transfers for social welfare in 2013, state revenues are still unequally distributed amongst the citizens, and the poorest tend to benefit less. Read more »


New section: Poverty, Politics and Power

« See the video »  We are pleased to announce that the Poverty, Politics and Power section of the Poverty Wellbeing Shareweb site is now active!  Here you will find details of the work of the SDC-IDS (Institute of Development Studies) Collaboration which will include resources, news, shared learnings and information about activities.  Now in its second phase, this Collaboration aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of SDC processes and operations focused on poverty. IDS will work with SDC staff, headquarters and country offices to keep them up to speed with evolving understandings of the nature and dynamics of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion. It will assist them in gaining a better understanding of poverty and vulnerability, and make the role of politics and power in the context of poverty more transparent.  Read more »


The South Asia Women's Resilience Index

By Eveline Studer. All over the world statistics and experience indicate that women are more adversely affected by disaster events than men. The South Asia women’s resilience index (WRI) published in late 2014 aims at measuring the capacities to withstand and recover from disasters in a gender sensitive manner. The WRI report, which was produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by Actionaid, focuses on eight countries in South Asia, including Japan as a reference. Read more »


Roma Social Inclusion Regional Seminar

Jo Howard from IDS was with SDC colleagues in Bucharest from 26-30 April to co-facilitate a workshop on Roma Inclusion in Eastern Europe. The workshop focused on deepening understanding of discrimination and its intersection with other forms of exclusion: more information is on the Roma Inclusion website. Jo will be supporting learning trajectories with SDC programme officers over the coming year.

3 key messages for eradicating poverty

Andrew Shepherd, a Director of the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (UK) and Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (UK), visited SDC last November. In this short video, you will find his three messages to SDC and to development practitioners for eradicating poverty.





The Poverty-Wellbeing is a shareweb for exchange about poverty issues, by the Swiss Development Cooperation.


​More than one billion people in the world today live in extreme poverty, yet the concerns and needs of very poor people continue to feature insufficiently in the design of development policies. “Poverty” as defined on this website is not confined to a lack of economic resources, but also to an absence of the wider means to live in dignity. Being poor is thus multidimensional, encompassing vulnerability and discrimination, and is as relevant in situations of humanitarian crisis and economic transition as it is in more general development discourse. More information on our understanding of poverty »