Welcome to the Poverty - Wellbeing Shareweb



PEGNet Conference 2017: Understanding National Inequalities​

The Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network (PEGNet) Conference 2017 places within-country inequality at center stage and will provide a platform for development scholars and policy makers to reflect on the measurement, drivers, and consequences of national inequalities as well as policies to reduce them. It will take place from 11-12 September 2017 at NADEL, ETH Zürich. Learn more»

Invisible Power and Development Practice

Power analysis is well established in twenty-first century development work. Power operates at different levels (local, national, global) and appears in different forms. While most development practitioners are familiar with visible and hidden power, invisible power is much less known. This knowledge gap can be explained by the nature of ‘invisible power’, which is why this power dimension requires special attention. Read more »

 18.03.2017 / Kim Andr​​​eas Kessler, Academic Intern, Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section, ​SDC​

The Invisibility of People in Development Projects

Information from project reports tend to make people invisible by using generic terms such as household, farmers, etc. The first question of interest to development actors is who exactly lives in a household. The second question is in what context these persons live. To know people in a gendered way living in a specific social and economic context fosters empowerment and facilitates a more accurate resource allocation. Read more »

18.08.2017 / Felix Fellmann, A+FS Network Focal Point, Global Programme Food Security, SDC

How to tackle national inequalities?

Are you working for SDC and would you like to better understand and tackle inequalities? The Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section has successfully launched a Learning Trajectory on 'Inequalities'. Bolivia, Mozambique, and our Global Programme Food Security have already reviewed their cooperation/thematic strategies from an inequality perspective. Do you wish to join this and other activities in order to strengthen SDC's focus on inequality? If so, click here »​

Targeting Reviewed

15.07.2017 / Barbara Weyermann, Programme Manager, Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal

Social discrimination and economic deprivation of a large majority of the population fuelled the armed conflict between the Maoist insurgents and the Nepali state (1996-2006).  SDC Nepal responded with interventions designed to better reach out to disadvantaged groups. Slowly, a concept for systematic beneficiary targeting emerged. A decade into this practice, SDC Nepal commissioned a review of the targeting approach. Read more »

​Reducing inequality in a turbulent world: Scaling-up strategies to secure indigenous, community, and women's land rights​

Join the 3rd international conference on community land and resource rights

Inequality and the marginalization of women, Indigenous Peoples, and rural communities is driving political unrest, challenging conventional development models, and increasing calls for social, economic, and environmental security across the globe. Today, nearly a third of the world's population does not have secure rights to the lands and forests they customarily claim. This insecurity undermines global progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate change commitments of the Paris Agreement. 

​Blind to extreme poverty? Inequalities and extreme poverty in Haiti

03.05.2017 / Anne Moulin, Poverty reduction and social development adviser 
Haiti is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world. The Swiss Development Cooperation office in Port-au-Prince organised a workshop to reflect on its strategic orientation to best tackle extreme poverty and inequalities.​

Inclusive Development Index ​​

13.04.2017​ / Kim Andreas Kessler 

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a well-es​​tablished standard to measure economic progress of a country. Is this national indicator satisfactory in times of increasing within country inequality and growing political commitment to promote economic growth that benefits all? The Inclusive Development Index (IDI), introduced by the WEF 2017 Inclusive Growth and Development Report, allows for a comprehensive understanding of economic development and helps to bring inclusive growth approaches into practice. ​

Learning Trajectory Global Inequalities ​​

13.04.2017 / Kim Andreas Ke​​ssler

Income inequality between countries has reduced, while inequality within countries has increased in many cases. The call for inclusive poverty reduction is not new, yet it gained renewed momentum with the UN Agenda 2030 and its emphasis to 'leave no one behind'. Growing political attention to so called losers of globalization in developed countries has further pushed inequality towards a prominent theme on national and international development agendas. This deepening concern has led to the SDC Quality Assurance & Poverty Reduction Section to launch a Learning Trajectory on Global Inequalities. Trajectory members learn about forms and manifestations of inequalities within and between countries, and reflect on SDC's work in this area. 

​​​​SDC Issue Paper on Social Prote​ction​


The Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section is pleased to announce that the Issue Paper on Social ​Protection has been discussed and approved by the SDC Directorate. Further to overwhelming evidence of the positive effects on socio-economic development and poverty reduction, support to Social Protection is an opportunity for SDC to foster joint initiatives between its domains and thematic networks. 

​Interrogating Decentralisation in Africa

03.2017 / Jane Stevens
This IDS Bulletin provides detailed evidence of the impact of decentralisation reforms at the local level through case studies in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Dealing with Africa’s decentralisation objectives of improved service delivery, democracy and participation, and a reduction in central government expenditure, it analyses how decentralisation works differently within each featured country, the factors responsible for different outcomes, and how more innovative and incisive methods can be used to deepen understanding of these processes.

​​Show more


30.03.2017 Kim Andreas Kessler

Social Impact Bonds: Addressing Gaps in Solving Social Issues 

The webinar series introduces innovative financing mechanisms that contribute to development solutions, linking needs, objectives and actual results. This series will focus on Results-based financing (RBF), in particular, which has emerged as an important tool for financing basic services. Learn more 


20.02.2017 Kim Andreas Kessler

CPAN W​orkshop on Eradicating Poverty​ 

Do you work on social protection, disability or discrimination? Are you keen to learn more about extreme poverty? The Chronic Poverty Advisory Network (CPAN) is organizing the Action-Workshop 'Eradicating poverty: using poverty dynamics to enhance development efforts'. It will be hosted in Nairobi, Kenya, on 3–4 May 2017. For more information, click​ here.

EADI NORDIC Conference 2017: Globalisation at the Crossroads

Are you keen to reflect on globalisation and tackle inequalities? The EADI NORDIC Conference 2017 “Globalisation at the Crossroads – Rethinking Inequalities and Boundaries” addresses a series of development challenges around processes of (anti-)globalisa​tion. Join this triennial conference in Bergen, Norway, from 21 – 23 August 2017. Visit​ conference website »
​​ ​25.01.2017 Jane Stevens

Challenging Inequalities: pathways to a just world

Much has been made of the recent Oxfam figures on wealth and inequality, stimulating discussions about statistics and the efficacy of shock headlines. Whilst there has been some debate over exactly how inequality is measured and publicised, it is widely recognised that it is extreme, multi-dimensional a​nd is having profoundly negative consequences across the world. ‘Reduce inequality within and among countries’ is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, whose mission was ‘Improving the state of the world’, income inequality was very much on the agend​a. Yet inequality is about more than just income.  Gender, race, ethnicity, culture, environment and political voice all play a part, as does who gets to decide how inequalities are defined, framed and addressed. Learn more »​

23.01.2017 Kim Andreas Kessler

P20 Initiative: Focus on people, not poverty lines…

SDG 1 targets the eradication of poverty for all people under the overarching aim to leave no one behind. Today, the central debate is about how to achieve this and how to ensure that no one is excluded from global progress​. Development Initiatives has worked out the project “P20 Initiative”. With a particular focus on poor people itself rather than poverty lines, the P20 Initiative aims to track the poorest 20% of the world’s population until 2030. Read more >>
23.01.2017​ Kim Andreas Kessler

An Economy for the 99%

On time with the opening of the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos, Oxfam’s report “An Economy for the 99%” made international news headlines: New estimates show that eight men own the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the world’s population. Yet, what is needed is a discussion beyond this figure which addresses the question how inequality can be effectively tackled and how we can keep on track with SDG 10. Oxfam strongly argues to shift from a neoliberal system driving inequality and designed for the rich to get richer to a human economy that works for all people. Learn more »​

23.01.2017 Kim Andreas Kessler

Linking Poverty Reduction and Climate Change 

Natural disasters are a greater obstacle to ending global poverty than previously understood. This is the warning message of the latest report published under the World Bank Climate Change and Development Series. While traditional approaches reduce natural disasters to their monetary impact and represent only those wealthy enough to have something to lose, this report proposes a new measure for assessing disaster-related damages and suggests a “resilience policy” package in order to reduce ‘poor’ people’s vulnerability to natural disasters. Learn more »​

10.01.2016 Kim Andreas Kessler

Social Exclusion and Access to Social Protection Schemes

There is a growing interest in social protection among development agents, particularly those concerned with poverty alleviation. What can cause people being excluded from social protection schemes? Referring to different dimensions of social exclusion, Stephen Kidd published a comprehensive paper which follows this question and suggests potential strategies to address the challenges of exclusion from social protection schemes. Learn more »


Simon Zbinden introduces the idea of microinsurances for small scale farmers. In order to watch the video and for more information on microinsurances and social protection, click here »

​03.01.2017 Kim Andreas Kessler

ODI Report on Child Labour in Dhaka

This report describes a survey covering over 2,700 households across 8 administrative units in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Child labour levels rise from 8% at the age of 10 to 45% at the age of 14 and an average Dhaka slum child labourer works 64 hours per week. Further research findings reveal the damaging interaction between economic hardship, child labour, and education. Therefore, integrated approaches that span the regulation of labour markets, education, child welfare and wider strategies of poverty reduction are suggested. It is highlighted that a strengthened commitment to eradicate child labour is crucial in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in Bangladesh. The report emphasizes the interconnectedness between urbanization, economic hardship, child labour, and education and illustrates how multidimensional aspects of poverty interact in the real world. Read full report »













International Conference on Research for Development in Berne, Switzerland
The 4th ICRD takes place from 5–8 September 2017 and seeks visionary contributions that will enhance transformations towards sustainable development in countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The contributions – from researchers, policymakers, and societal partners – should facilitate knowledge stewardship consistent with the UN Agenda 2030. The conference offers several formats in which to present, debate, and foster the advancement of knowledge. Learn more »

​30.11.2016 Jane Stevens

New publication from IDS on power, poverty and inequality

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is pleased to launch our new IDS Bulletin on power, poverty and inequality. Ten years after the landmark 2006 issue that brought us the Powercube – a practical approach to power analysis that offers a way of confronting its complexity – we return to the question of how to analyse and act on power in development. Funded by SDC as part of the Collaboration between SDC-QA and IDS, this issue focusses on the ways in which invisible power helps perpetuate injustice and widen inequalities. Some 14 contributors, engaged in various areas of development work, come together to explore these dynamics and make recommendations for how to reverse the negative effects of invisible power through unsettling the normal and making visible the unacceptable. Learn more »

​13.10.2016 Jane Carter

“Graduating” out of extreme poverty in Bangladesh

I was recently in Bangladesh at the behest of SDC to support a process of learning from a very interesting programme that has just ended. The EEP/Shiree (Economic Empowerment of the Poorest, widely known by the Bangla name Shiree, which means “steps”) was a large, 8 year, nearly £84 million programme. It was primarily supported by the governments of Britain and Bangladesh – respectively through DFID, the Department for International Development, and the Rural Development and Cooperative Division of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives. In a demonstration of donor coordination, SDC contributed to the programme in its final phase. Read full article »

12.10.2016 Antoine Kocher

Impact assessment by the stakeholders in the water sector in Haiti

For 20 years, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and SDC have fostered access to water and sanitation in rural areas in Haiti. The closing of the 5th phase of the “Eau Potable et Assainissement” project in June 2016 offered a good occasion for the responsible persons and users of the service to draw a balance on the achieved changes. The stakeholders used a “Beneficiary Assessment” to analyse the project. It consisted of initiating a dialogue between peers in order to evoke the changes in their lives and how they perceive the impacts of the project. The statements made by the actors (users of the service, management committee, technical maintenance and local authorities) on how they perceived the changes allows us not only to understand the project’s impacts on their lives, but also to be aware of our approaches and to adapt the project implementation modalities considering the different situations and how they are perceived by them. Click here to download the methodology and evaluation, or here to visit all BA reports and resources »


​11.10.2016 Erica Placella

Ensuring Equity and Inclusion in Health

The reduction of inequalities within and among countries is also central in the SDGs agenda. Equity and inclusion are core principles of SDC general mandate and almost all country strategies and corresponding health programs target the poorest and most marginalized people, and aim at ensuring their access to quality and affordable services and resources for their health. With the support of IDS, SDC embarked in a reflection aiming at raising awareness and providing a common and practical understanding of equity and inclusion in a rights-based approach to health. Based on concrete case studies within SDC programs, the idea is to define some guiding principles for inclusive approaches to health to be applied in programme implementation, and establish a common set of minimum equity- and inclusion-related standards and indicators. Read full article »

16.09.2016 Anne Moulin

Approaches and policies for reducing inequalities

The international expert workshop organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Berlin on 5-6 September 2016 brought together more than 70 scholars, policy makers and practitioners to discuss approaches and policies for reducing inequalities. Read full article »

The Human Rights-Based Approach to Social Protection

This Issue Brief by UNRISD introduces readers to the human rights-based approach to social protection. It highlights the fundamental principles of this approach, which are explored in detail at socialprotection-humanrights.org , and directs readers to the key human rights instruments and other tools that are available to help policy makers and practitioners advocate for and operationalize a rights-based approach to social protection. Learn more »


Les inegalités son-elles une fatalité? Solutions proposées para la société civile

Table Ronde / Panel Discussion, Mardi 4 Octobre 2016, 18:30 – 20.00, Auditorium Ivan Pictet, Maison de la Paix, Genève
Si la communauté internationale a progressé pour ce qui est de sortir les populations de la pauvreté, les inégalités persistent. Il y a encore de vastes disparités dans l’accès à l’éducation, aux ressources économiques ainsi qu’à une relation homme-femme plus équilibrée. De plus, si les inégalités de revenus entre les pays ont pu être réduites, elles se sont en revanche accrues à l’intérieur des Etats. Nous vous proposons de débattre sur le rôle de la société civile et son impact sur la réduction des inégalités dans les domaines de l’économie, du genre et de l’éducation. Watch the video of the Panel discussion here »


Reporting from the third Roma Inclusion Seminar, Albania June 2016

Building on last year's seminar in Bucharest, this event focussed on the themes of effectiveness, sustainability and transformation in relation to Roma inclusion.  Over 40 participants engaged in four days of field visits, case studies, presentations, discussions and debate.  The full report is now available on the Seminar’s  Shareweb page, along with complementary social reporting that includes audio and video contributions from participants. Learn more »


Cutting Edges in Conflict Transformation Research - Public event, September 26th 2016, Bern, Switzerland.

Critically discuss and rethink new empirical evidence on the mitigation and avoidance of social conflicts.
How can safe social spaces for sharing memories about social conflicts be broadened beyond private interpersonal communication to unfold empowering impacts on local communities? What is the role of natural resources in fueling sentiments of ethnic inequality? How can gender function as a resource in peacebuilding? Since 2014, three international research consortia are working in 12 countries to address these and other pertinent questions. They take into account the perspectives and perceptions of various players, and find thereby new insights and ideas on how to go about these issues. Learn more about this event, and register for participation following the instructions here »
​12.07.2016 Martin Lippuner

Urban poverty: what consequences for SDC’s South Cooperation?

Today, approximately 25 % of the world’s poor live in urban areas. This part will increase to 50 % by 2040. In view of such trends, SDC’s South Cooperation (SC) launched a reflection on the consequences for SC’s strategic positioning: Should SDC (SC) engage in a more substantive way in urban settings and if so, how? A core group (all SDC domains represented) meets in July in a workshop to elaborate first recommendations. IDS’s research cluster “cities” is also involved and produced already two briefs on a) facts on urban poverty and b) mapping of key development actors in urban contexts. Results of an internal light-mapping of existing “urban” activities (SDC and SECO) will be soon available, too. The workshop results will result in a position paper that will in September be consulted within a broader reflection group. Read full note or visit Urban Poverty Working Group page »

14.07.2016 Aurélie Schwarb

Women’s Empowerment in Roma Communities: a learning process

On an Advisor initiative, and with the support of IDS, a learning process began in April 2015 at the Bucharest seminar on Roma Inclusion. Two learning trajectories proposed by Nonprofit Organisations (NPOs) in charge of this theme were set up on different topics: Discrimination and Women's Empowerment. The idea was to share experiences and knowledge through documents, discussions between peers, interviews and reflection on field visits. The major goals of this learning process are to broaden the understanding of each subject and to understand the intermediaries’ role. To achieve this the groups met seven times, via Lync, between October 2015 and May 2016. Learn more »

08.07.2016 Anne Moulin

Understanding Poverty - Key concepts (Poverty Brief)

This brief summarizes the main concepts around poverty, social exclusion, vulnerability and inequality. It introduces different ways of understanding and measuring poverty - ranging from absolute, income-based definitions to multi-dimensional ones.
The article explains SDC’s understanding of poverty. It also states that no single correct definition of poverty exists, but that we need to include particular social, cultural and historical contexts and that policy implication differs according to the definition of poverty. Download Poverty Brief (PDF, 311kb, EN), and References (PDF, 92kb, EN). Learn more about "Understanding Poverty" »

​04.07.2016 Simone Troller, Anne Moulin

Leave no one behind – Discrimination, Exclusion and the 2030 Agenda

On 22 June 2016, a panel of experts addressed the implications of the leave-no-one-behind commitment in the 2030 Agenda and its links to discrimination and exclusion. The public event took place at SDC headquarters and was introduced by Thomas Greminger, Deputy Director-General of SDC. Read more »

Summer meeting "Economic inequalities, deprivation, and poverty"Bern (29-31 August)

The Summer Meeting of the Research Committee on Social Stratification and Mobility (RC28) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) will take place in the University of Bern from the 29th to the 31st August. The theme of the conference is “Economic inequalities, deprivation, and poverty”. The plenary sessions and workshops of the conference will cover research of RC28 members in this field and in related areas. It is organized by the Institute of Sociology of the University of Bern. For registration and furhter information, please visit https://rc28.unibe.ch/


GPSA Webinar: "Getting the 'buy in': Fostering political will for social accountability initiatives" (Wednesday June 15, 2016, 10:00 am EST)

Why is political will for social accountability lacking? What can we, as citizens, civil society actors, elected representatives, and government officials, do to build broad-based support for social accountability?  This webinar will seek answers to these crucial questions. The facilitator Carmen Malena will draw on case studies and first-hand experiences, to share practical ideas about how to: (i) understand the different elements and key influencing factors of political will, and (ii) formulate practical strategies and tactics to nurture political will. Participants will also be invited to share their own experiences and lessons learned with regard to building political will for social accountability. Learn more and participate in this webinar »


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 »
23.03.2016 Anne Moulin

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 »

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 »

03.03.2016 Sarah Byrne

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 »


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»

25.02.2016 Stephen Devereux

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 » 

​20.01.2015 Jane Carter

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 »

09.12.2015 Simone Troller

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»

​09.12.2015 Jane Stevens

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 »

09.12.2015 Marie Marchand

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 »

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 »

​24.11.2015 Sarah Byrne

‘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 »


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.

​06.10.2015 Jane Carter

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 »


02.10.2015 Jane Carter

SDGs, Land Rights and Poverty

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 »


29.09.2015 Riff Fullan

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.

“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 896 million people in the world today live in extreme poverty, and 2.1 billion live on less than 3.1 $ a day, yet the concerns and needs of very poor people continue to feature insufficiently in the design of development policies.