- How will policies need to be adjusted in different contexts to ensure that they more effectively contribute to leaving no one behind in the achievement of SDG1 and related SDGs?
- How effective are current methods for measuring poverty, in leaving no one behind? What lessons have been learned with respect to understanding the social and geographical distribution of poverty in order to identify the poor and vulnerable within countries?
- What are some innovative examples of employing data and the data revolution to identify and assess policy needs of those left behind?
Photo Credit: UN Photo/Tobin Jones
Week 1 & 2 Summary (March 21-April 4)
I would like to thank you very much for sharing your research, experiences and perspectives to the debate on eradicating poverty and leaving no one behind. This lively and rich discussion has touched upon many of the key issues to be discussed in the upcoming ECOSOC session.
For those who are just joining the e-discussion, you will find below a summary of the comments posted during the first two weeks. If you had not done so already, I encourage you to have your say and join the discussion.
This report summarizes the first two weeks of the global e-discussion for Thematic Window 1 on eradicating poverty and leaving no one behind, with over 120 responses from all regions of the world.
Leaving no one behind in the effort to eradicate poverty is to return to the essence of our humanity. Even when growth lifts millions out of poverty, many will be left behind unless explicit policies are implemented with this aim. Yet poverty reduction efforts are not likely to be sustainable unless they tackle the underlying drivers of poverty such as exclusion, vulnerability, and environmental degradation.
1. How will policies need to be adjusted in different contexts to ensure that they more effectively contribute to leaving no one behind in the achievement of SDG1 and related SDGs?
The following were key themes related to the necessary adjustment of policies to more effectively contribute to SDG 1 and leaving no one behind.
Strengthen support for inclusive social and economic empowerment
Strengthen democracy through inclusive education and access to information
Strengthen governance and public management including at local level, address corruption
2. How effective are current methods for measuring poverty, in leaving no one behind? What lessons have been learned with respect to understanding the social and geographical distribution of poverty in order to identify the poor and vulnerable within countries?
With respect to measuring poverty and tracking social needs the following lessons were offered in the discussion:
3. What are some innovative examples of employing data and the data revolution to identify and assess policy needs of those left behind?
Poverty is sustainable. The interrelated factors of denial of entitlements, lack of accessibility to opportunities, shrinking of traditional skills based entrepreneurship along with ineffective governance and justice system. All these need to be calibrated to make integrated initiative to eradicate poverty.
Mineral harvesting or small scale mining of locally available low value minerals and construction materials can be of local economic importance that alleviates poverty in many communities. These can be considered as ' food or cash crops' where food crops provide sustenance such as fertiliser and construction stone and cash crops provide business opportunities such as precious or semi precious metals and gems. Mineral harvesting is a type of land use of a valuable natural resource endowment in attaining economic development and poverty reduction and can be considered along with other more traditional land use sectors such as agriculture in the formulation of land use regulations.
Children and adults with disabilities compose a large and diverse marginalized group, who disproportionately experience poverty. Of particular concerns are SDG Targets 1.1, 1.3 & 1.4 and related indicators. The Center for American Progress (Talk Poverty 2014) recognized that disability is a cause and consequence of poverty. Further, "...The poverty rate for working-age people with disabilities is nearly two and a half times higher than that for people without disabilities. Indeed, recent research finds that half of all working age adults who experience at least one year of poverty have a disability, and nearly two-thirds of those experiencing longer-term poverty have a disability. People with disabilities are also much more likely to experience material hardships—such as food insecurity; inability to pay rent, mortgage, and utilities; or not being able to get needed medical care—than people without disabilities at the same income levels. The same goes for families caring for a child with a disability."
Census data analyzed by The Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis (2014) revealed a poverty rate of 29% among 18-64 year olds with a disability, as compared to only 12% for those without disabilities in the U.S. The Americans with Disabilities Act was intended to equalize opportunities in "employment — as well as government services and public accommodations, commercial facilities and public transportation" (NPR, 2015); however, the promise is not fulfilled.
Individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional/behavioral disabilities often have fewer opportunities for challenging education and vocational training leading to successful job placement. In many countries, the social safety net is inadequate for individuals with disabilities who are unable to earn a living wage.
Barriers may be attitudinal, e.g., the misperception that persons with disabilities cannot succeed or require excessive and costly accommodations. Some fear those who speak, move and think differently, such as a woman with cerebral palsy whose gait is awkward, and a young man with autism who self-stimulates when feeling anxious. Attitudinal barriers may result from inexperience living and working with those who have disabilities, leading to fear and discrimination.
In other instances, economic barriers limit accessible transportation, physical modifications to private buildings, and restrict access to primary prevention and treatment programs. Accessible transportation and housing are less often found in rural and poorer communities. Part-time and entry-level jobs rarely provide a living wage and may not offer health insurance benefits. These barriers unnecessarily restrict one's ability to fully participate in society, contributing one's time and talents for betterment of all.
It is more cost effective to provide supportive functional skill training, housing and transportation enabling independent living, self-management and work, as compared to fostering complete dependence on government-funded health and welfare programs. Consider the experience of a 20-year old with a learning disability who enrolls in a residential program teaching functional living skills. Within a couple of years, she successfully demonstrates ability to reside in a shared community residence, cook and clean, manage finances, use public transit, and work a job for competitive wages! This short-term investment reduces her sole reliance on public entitlement programs across the lifespan.
Let us strive for inclusion of all persons with disabilities as valued and capable citizens!
Recommendation don't just stop with "What needs to be done" it also extends to "How can something be done". ‘What’ recommends ‘the goal’ and ‘how’ recommends with ‘ the guideline’ as in how we could resolve the problem by addressing all the factors of recommendation made.
Summary here just has got the recommendations pertaining to what needs to be done and have excluded on the how’s. It is important that we highlight, cognise and stick to the principles that will help us address all our activities for its purpose making us to accomplish something in real.
Education is widely recommended as a means for poverty eradication but it is to be analysed that have all the educated populace in the present out of poverty? Are they facilitated with employment opportunities and full opportunities that has set them with a life and living up to their expectation. Creating jobs in the market may place them with employment opportunities but what about the populace that would pass out the education system in future? Wouldn’t they be suffering from poverty and unemployment? And even in the employment sector, are everyone employed perfectly, don’t we have problems of under employment, dead end jobs, unequal pays, etc? So just by enabling education that is in the routine is not going to solve the problem but add to the existing problem in a different or invisible form.
Than to ignore the solution, stay settled in the same place and to keep resolving the same problem in different dimension and forms, it is better to take up the solution, progress and resolve problems that comes as its eventuality.
Facilitating the principles of constitution and universal declaration of human rights will solve the problem existing in the present but it isn’t assured that the world will not have any problem at all.but we will definitely not be having the same problem or get stagnated in the very same place, we would be having an evolved world and a different set of problems to address.
So, atleast at this point, we need to include all aspects of recommendations made taking a holistic solution from the discussion made.
"Private sector should be incentivized to become part of the solution. Government incentives can support and promote entrepreneurship. They can also reward products/companies that produce a positive social contribution along their life cycle, tracks direct and indirect effects on increasing and reducing poverty (e.g. desertification, minimum wage)"
Isn’t it necessary for all products and produces to have positive social contribution? Entrepreneurial activities are a part of social contribution, their part in the nation is not primarily their economic contribution. Organisation or company is a place where people with different skills come together for a united purpose and vision. The workings of any organisation, company or entrepreneurial activity must be for its set vision and purpose and not merely for its balance sheet and economies or profits involved.
Quotas is a violation of principles. It is illegal as it discriminates the populace based on their personal identity. Why do we reserve opportunities for some when the fundamentals assures opportunities for all, individually, for their individuality?
"The poor can offer a wealth of innovative solutions to sustainable development, but they may not have the formal education or the visibility to have their ideas supported."
Ideas are to be taken for the conviction it has to serve the purpose and not for the background details of individual offering the ideas. Isn’t it the basic duty of government to support a valid idea or solution and help an individual fulfil his/her social responsibility? Aren’t the government mandated to support and partner with the individual in bringing out the visibility of their ideas? Why do we always concentrate on ‘who says’ than on concentrating ‘what’ is being said? This is why we have leaders, pioneers and intellectuals being made as heroes whereas their contributions and suggestions are left behind. Thomas Edison did not have a formal education, Benjamin franklin was a school dropout, Albert Einstein did not pass the entrance exam to the prestigious Swiss federal institute of technology in the first attempt, Abraham Lincoln left school when he was 12, there are many such accomplishers who deviated from the routine of the world yet was not sidelined from what they had to contribute the world with. Why do we now sideline and confine recognising people and their ability just within the routine we have officiated? Isn’t this a practice of exclusion?
Therefore, it is important that we first reform our functioning inline with the principles of UDHR that would bring back the world to its purpose from where we can progress to accomplish the goals and factors recommended, else, however hard or genuine we try resolving the problem would remain a nightmare, as the root cause of problem would be somewhere and we would be working elsewhere.
Un saludo desde Colombia. Con relación al tema 1 "Sin dejar a nadie atrás en el esfuerzo de erradicar la pobreza"en el contexto específico de Colombia quisiera presentar varias consideraciones:
1. Según indica el informe de la Cepal, "Panorama social de América Latina, 2015" Colombia es uno de los países con mayor desigualdad en la región y en el mundo, una desigualdad que supera las cifras presentadas por el DANE (Departamento Nacional de Estadística). Este informe advierte que en la región, Colombia es el país que concentró una mayor parte del ingreso en el 1% mas rico de la población entre 1993 y 2014.
2. Según Jorge Iván González experto en temas de pobreza y desigualdad, en Colombia no se ha hecho nada para mejorar la distribución de la riqueza; la desigualdad de la concentración de la tierra es del 0,91% y la accionaria es del 0,95%.
3. Adicional a ello el gasto social en el país es de los mas bajos y equivale a una cuarta parte de lo que se invierte en la región.
4. Con el recién firmado "Acuerdo de una paz estable y duradera", se espera revertir algunas de las anteriores situaciones, aunque habría que esperar muchos años para confirmar si esto ha sido posible.
5. Otro gran problema que impide a los colombianos salir de la pobreza, es el alto grado de corrupción que permea las esferas políticas, económicas, sociales tanto a nivel central como territorial. Los recursos del Estado, muchos producto de las regalías, van a parar a manos de unos pocos, que se roban los dineros que iban dirigidos a la educación, a la salud, a la nutrición infantil, al saneamiento básico. A esto se suma el altísimo grado de impunidad que no pone freno a esta situación y por lo tanto la sigue alimentando.
6. Falta de voluntad política de parte del Estado, en las tres Ramas del Poder Ejecutivo, legislativo y judicial, en transformar las situaciones de inequidad y de desigualdad que sufren las mujeres y hombres de sectores rurales y de zonas periféricas de las ciudades. Esto se ve reflejado en el Congreso de la República donde senadores y Representantes elegidos para representar intereses regionales, demuestran falta de interés, compromiso y oídos sordos ante estas demandas. .
7. La pobreza (multidimensional) alimentada por la creciente discriminación, afecta en gran mayoría a las mujeres, a la población afrocolombiana, a la población indígena, a la población rural y a la población LGTBI que ve reducida cada dia mas sus posibilidades educativas y laborales.
7. Según el Observatorio de Igualdad de Género de la CEPAL para 2014 las mujeres urbanas sin ingresos propios son el 24.1% mientras los hombres son el 10.4%; en el área rural las mujeres sin ingresos propios representan el 35.2%, mientras que los hombres el 10.4%. A ello se suma que las mujeres en su mayoría son empleadas por cuenta propia, o laboran en oficios informales con lo que no acceden a seguridad social ni en salud, riesgos profesionales y pensiones. La falta de autonomía económica es también un factor que las pone en alto riesgo de vulnerabilidad frente a la violencia de género y los feminicidios que han alcanzado en los últimos tiempos cifras completamente escandalosas y dramáticas, y en la que los responsables en su gran mayoría quedan impunes por culpa de una justicia lenta e incapaz de reaccionar. (Aunque en Colombia existe un amplio marco normativo que penaliza estos crímenes como la ley 1257 de 2008 "Para prevenir, sancionar y erradicar la violencia contra las mujeres", la ley 1761 de 2015 "Rosa Elvira Celis" contra las feminicidios y la Ley 1773 de 2016 "Natalia Ponce de León" que aumenta y penaliza los crímenes con ácido).
8. La brecha salarial entre mujeres y hombres sigue siendo también muy alta, (según el DANE llega a 20,2% menos que los hombres) aun con la misma o mas alta calificación de parte de las mujeres y para los mismos cargos y aunque se han emprendido iniciativas importantes desde la Consejería Presidencial para la Equidad de la Mujer y el Ministerio del Trabajo (Programa Nacional de Equidad Laboral con enfoque diferencial de Género) y existe una Ley de igualdad salarial, (Ley 1496 de 2011), la brecha no se cierra.
9. A todo lo anterior se suma la tendencia demográfica de la región y del mundo que muestra la disminución de las tasas de natalidad y el mayor envejecimiento de la población (tema de la 50 sesión de la CIPD este año, 2017). La gran mayoría de mujeres adultas mayores están viviendo en Colombia situaciones de pobreza extrema e indigencia, y no tienen acceso a seguridad social. Se requiere con urgencia un cambio en los sistemas de Protección social, como lo señala el Informe de Ana Sojo (CEPAL), Protección Social en América Latina. La desigualdad al banquillo. (2017). Es un tema de derechos, de justicia. El Estado, el mercado y las mujeres y los hombres deben hacerse cargo del trabajo del cuidado. Es una responsabilidad que no es competencia exclusiva de las mujeres, las cuales dedican gran parte de su vida a esta labor, a diferencia de los hombres. La Ley 1413 de 2010 (Ley de Economía del cuidado) ya lo ha medido en las Encuestas de Uso del tiempo que esta haciendo el DANE.
10. El creciente conservadurismo y la arremetida contra la mal llamada "ideología de género" que aumenta en el país y en la región, repliega a las mujeres a su condición de amas de casa y madres y profundiza la desigualdad económica haciendo a las mujeres y las niñas mas pobres, sin recursos para lograr su autonomía física, económica y política.
11. La pobreza afecta también de manera desproporcionada a la población afrodescendiente y a la población indígena en Colombia, la cual es ademas discriminada. Los/las habitantes de las costas Pacífica y Atlántica (Chocó, Tumaco, Buenaventura, Riohacha, etc) en su gran mayoría no tienen acceso a agua potable, saneamiento básico, carreteras, puestos de salud, luz, alcantarillado, viviendas dignas. Esto es producto de la discriminación y la corrupción.
12. Gracias a la Corte Constitucional de Colombia y al trabajo adelantado por COLOMBIA DIVERSA ha habido avances en cuestión de derechos para la población LGTBI; sin embargo todavía faltan acciones en que se concreten dichos avances y se elimine la discriminación por motivos de orientación sexual en nuestro país.
13. Mientras no se solucionen todos estos problemas planteados antes, es imposible pensar en acabar la pobreza y en no dejar a nadie atrás. Es una utopía y un reto y para nuestro país un reto mayor que debe involucrar al Estado en su conjunto, a la empresa privada, a las instituciones, y a la sociedad en su conjunto: mujeres y hombres desde sus diversidades¡¡¡¡
Martha Cecilia Londoño López.
Poverty and development is very much interwoven with the nature and type of governance. Democratic and inclusive governance may be an effective system against poverty and drive force for inclusive development both at macro and micro levels. .
However we need to highlight on the following steps:
1. Enhancing human resource development through measures on education, health and livelihood generation. Initiating appropriate skill and vocational training programmes in relevance to technological, entrepreneurship development.
2. Developing a registry of skills and skill exchange mechanism to generate appropriate demand and supply in the market.
3. Enabling measures for access to credit and finance from relevant agencies may be for enterprise development.
4. Strengthening farm and non-farm sectors as pivot for employment generation and enterprise development.
Besides macro policy initiatives need to be monitored and implemented at macro-micro continuum to achieve the desired result, i.e. poverty eradication and inclusive development.
To add to the notes on adjusting policies to support co-operatives, I would like to highlight the specific ways in which co-operatives serve as tools for eradicating poverty and how the UN and its Member States could support their development in a practical way.
Firstly, co-operatives can be a self-help solution for people to pull themselves out of poverty when external economic opportunities are scarce. Individuals can identify the gaps in a community (whether that be farmers' access to markets, sources of capital for small-scale loans, a food retail outlet, etc.), and form a co-operative to address that gap in a democratic, principles-driven space. Through the power of the collective, co-operatives allow people to create their own opportunities where few others exist.
Secondly, co-operatives have concern for community at their core, being member-based organizations. Without the pressure of shareholders to focus on the bottom line, co-operatives are businesses that reinvest in their communities while securing the livelihoods of their members. Examples can be seen in how co-operatives reinvest revenues into building schools and educational programs for community members, offering professional development opportunities, or developing more environmentally friendly systems for waste and energy use. This means that co-operatives can not only eradicate poverty among individuals, but also contribute to the greater wealth of communities as a whole.
Regarding the policies that need to be adjusted to achieve the SDGs, it would be ideal for the UN to better include the co-operative movement in global policy making processes to reflect their important economic and social impact, and for UN Member States to review their national/regional legislation related to co-operatives and consider making it easier for co-operatives to be established and to flourish. This would include provisions to make financing more accessible to co-operatives, which is one of their most significant challenges, given the lack of understanding about the unique co-operative identity.
Opening the door for co-operatives to grow is a win-win situation: Member States can see greater achievement of the SDGs, and co-operatives can better meet the needs of their members and communities.