The Mobilising Potential of Anti-Poverty Programmes
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Aid and development agencies like to believe that they manage their development programmes in ways that empower the poor. This is rare in practice, even in the case of newly-fashionable programmes that are explicitly targeted at the poor and justified in terms of 'empowerment'. It is not easy to use public anti-poverty programmes to empower the poor, i.e. to encourage them to mobilise politically around pro-poor agendas and movements. How can 'friends of the poor' in government or other agencies design and manage their anti-poverty programmes to encourage this mobilisation? We explore the options, point out the advantages and disadvantages of the more direct methods, and make a case for the indirect or parametric approach: creating an enabling institutional environment, that encourages poor people, social activists and grassroots political entrepreneurs to invest in pro-poor mobilisation. We then present a language for understanding the various dimensions of this enabling institutional environment, and use it to examine two contrasting, successful cases: rural water supply in Nepal, and the Employment Guarantee Scheme in Maharashtra, India.
CitationJoshi, A. and Moore, M.P. (2000) The Mobilising Potential of Anti-Poverty Programmes, IDS Discussion Paper 374, Brighton: IDS
Is part of seriesIDS Discussion Paper;374
Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies
- IDS Research