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

By Sarah Byrne
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 »


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 »





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. Visit our previous website »


​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 »