02 Poverty and poverty reduction
The most obvious answer to this question is the lack of money or income, but the definition goes far beyond that. Poverty is a multidimensional and complex phenomenon, which is why there are many definitions and ways of measuring it.
Traditionally poverty has been defined as material deprivation, as measured by income or consumption of the individual or family. When we talk about extreme poverty we refer it as the lack of income necessary to meet basic food needs. Relative poverty is the lack of income necessary to satisfy basic food needs as non-food basic needs such as clothing, energy and housing.
In order to tackle poverty, many governments of underdeveloped countries have designed and implemented Poverty Reduction Strategies. This Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) describe a country's macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs. PRSPs are prepared by governments through a participatory process involving civil society and development partners. These documents are required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank before a country can be considered for debt relief within the HIPC program.
Poverty is different in different communities and countries. And there are lots of other organizations already working on poverty. Your project can play an important role that suits the youth as target group in your youth organization. But to create the most effective strategy, you need to know:
- Poverty conditions of the country your organization would like to work in.
- The role that your youth organization plays in tackling poverty
- Local youth organizations working on poverty and their projects and initiatives.
The more research and planning your organization makes about the local context of the project the more possibilities of success it has. It is also important to get to know and work together with the local youth organizations since they are more aware of the local problems and know closely the beneficiaries. This helps build better relationships with them and improve the implementation of the project.
Before you start a project that tackles poverty, you should first ask yourself:
- Does my organization and our partner organization have the necessary resources, skills and knowledge to start this project?
- Do I have the knowledge and will to do this project?
- Is it a priority of the local organization to do this project? Does it goes in line with what they and the local community have been doing till now?
- What can you achieve with this project? Is it realistic?
There are many ways to tackle poverty and many organizations already working in the field in the local community. For any strategy you choose, in order to guarantee positive results, you need define precisely “What are you going to do“; “How you are going to do it” and most important “What changes do you want to achieve with the project”.
- Capacitating youth to participate in economic productivity in order to reduce poverty.
- Promote youth participation in the community and other socio-civic activities and movements that will include teaching reading writing and arithmetic to street kids and other out of school youths (peer to peer).
- Peer to peer education to make the youth become entrepreneurs by thinking of ways to be self employed.
UNFPA: Poverty Reduction Strategy