March 2018 / Justine Boillat, Academic Trainee, Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
After a year-long research project on poverty and child well-being in Indonesia, Development Pathways' researcher Bjorn Gelders draws five lessons learnt on poverty dynamics.
These reflections have broad and important implications for the design
of development programmes and question in particular the relevance of
narrow targeting approaches.
The five points outlined in his blog post are the following:
five points show that there is no static group of "poor" people, but
that poverty is a highly dynamic, volatile and complex phenomenon. The
author concludes that, as a result, there is no group of people that can
be easily identified and accurately targeted by development
interventions. This has crucial implications for the design of policy
and programmes, notably of social protection systems.
particular, these observations question the relevance of targeting
approaches. This echoes other authors of Development Pathways, who have
often advocated against targeted approaches to social protection (see
for example here and here).
Indeed, defining a target group through a narrow targeting approach
does not take into account the highly dynamic features of poverty.
Instead, the focus should be on developing inclusive systems where
everyone in need of social protection can access it.
In this perspective, the joint initiative of ILO and the World Bank for Universal Social Protection
present interesting opportunities to work towards social protection
systems that are accessible to all people. Beyond social protection,
such holistic, universal approaches might well be a way to meet the
commitment to "leave no one behind" in all areas of development, instead
of narrowly defining the "left behinds".
Five things we learnt about poverty dynamics in world's fourth most populous country, Bjorn Gelders, Development Pathways
Citizenship or Charity? The two paradigms of social protection, Stephen Kidd, Development Pathways
Poverty-targeting: the social protection flaw?, Nicholas Freeland, Development Pathways
The World Bank Group and ILO Universal Social Protection Initiative
Children in Indonesia: An analysis of poverty, mobility and multidimensional deprivation, UNICEF and Development Pathways
Presentation of the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection to achieve the SDGs – USP2030
Cover image: ©UNICEF Indonesia/2016/Raditya Henrile