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Poverty Reduction and Pro-Poor Growth

The Role of Empowerment

image of Poverty Reduction and Pro-Poor Growth

Empowerment of those living in poverty is both a critical driver and an important measure of poverty reduction. It is the decisions and actions of poor people themselves that will bring about sustainable improvements in their lives and livelihoods. Inequitable power relations exclude poor people from decision-making and prevent them from taking action. Sustainable poverty reduction needs poor people to be both the agents and beneficiaries of economic growth - to directly participate in, contribute to and benefit from growth processes.  Strengthening poor people’s organizations, providing them with more control over assets and promoting their influence in economic governance will improve the terms on which they engage in markets. This economic empowerment combined with political and social empowerment will make growth much more effective in reducing poverty. This report aims to build donor understanding of empowerment and how best to support it.

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Decent work and empowerment for pro-poor growth

Decent work is a key tool to overcome insecurities caused by a lack of choice and access to opportunities which lead to disempowerment. Decent work includes rights, social protection, employment and the promotion of social dialogue, applied in an integrated manner. The legal aspect of decent work lies at the heart of the empowerment process, helping to break the cycle of inequality by providing a legal basis for empowerment. Donors can be pro-active in the development and respect of international laws and norms. They can support implementation of national laws through are public awareness, technical upgrading and expansion of labour inspection, promotion of social dialogue and linking technical co-operation projects with the respect of labour rights. Encouraging co-operation within and between different groups is key in preventing inequalities of power.

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