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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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Empowerment of poor rural people through initiatives in agriculture and natural resource management

Agriculture and natural resource management are crucial for pro-poor growth; empowerment is key to the success and sustainability of development initiatives in these areas. Donors can support empowerment processes in rural areas where poor people face pressing challenges to their livelihoods by supporting their rights and access to natural resources; through participatory and accountable knowledge and advisory processes; by enhancing access of poor rural producers to markets; and by supporting their participation in policy and governance processes. Donors must strengthen poor rural people’s capabilities by supporting their organisations, facilitating and institutionalising constructive interactions among the different interests and taking a flexible approach to programming and engaging across a range of stakeholders.

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