Poverty Eradication in Progress

Seminar Discusses Poverty Reduction Policies in Cambodia and Beyond

Ole Doetinchem presents the GIZ IDPoor programme.

12 August 2014

Combatting poverty and bringing about better living conditions remains one of the cornerstones of international German development cooperation. In Cambodia, Germany, in cooperation with Australia, has been supporting the IDPoor programme for a number of years as a thematically cross-cutting issue within its good governance portfolio.

On August 12, 2014, the German Embassy and GIZ organised a session on poverty with participants from the Cambodian Ministry of Planning, bilateral and multilateral development partners and non-governmental organisations. The session was moderated by Ole Doetinchem, GIZ team leader of the Identification of Poor Households Programme support project. In a brief presentation, he outlined the key aspect of how IDPoor works and what issues the programme is currently working on:

IDPoor is a nationwide poverty targeting mechanism run by the Cambodian Ministry of Planning. It systematically identifies poor households to enable targeted poverty alleviation interventions. To achieve accurate results that are accepted by the local population, the programme has adopted a process combining means testing and participatory local consultation.

At present, the IDPoor programme is carrying out its eighth annual identification round, covering the provinces Kampong Speu, Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, Mondul Kiri, Preah Sihanouk, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng.

IDPoor Programme Looks Forward

As a future priority, the IDPoor team is currently developing the procedures for programme extension into urban areas. Simultaneously, the IDPoor database is being moved to the cloud to enable better data access and offer web-based services to its users. IDPoor is also considering current trends in poverty and how its data may support combatting vulnerability.

Internationally, Germany has supported the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network in publishing the third Chronic Poverty Report. Dr Chiara Mariotti outlined the report’s key findings and how this report relates to poverty eradication efforts in Cambodia:

  • Achieving the goal of Zero Extreme Poverty by 2030 requires a new public policy approach to understanding and acting on poverty. This approach requires three action areas: (i) tackling chronic poverty (i.e. bringing people up to the poverty line); (ii) stopping impoverishment; (iii) and sustaining the escapes people make out of extreme poverty.
  • World-wide evidence, demonstrates that there are three sets of policies that work in achieving all the three goals above:

(i)                  Social assistance including cash transfers or employment programmes to help the poorest get closer to the poverty line and provide a safety net against impoverishment;

(ii)                 Massive investment in pre-school, primary, and post-primary education, ensuring access and quality to all, including poor children;

(iii)                A bundle of policies that promote pro-poor growth. These include industrial policies that promote expansion of labour-intensive sectors, coupled with apprenticeship schemes or training to match skills to opportunities; the promotion of small and medium enterprises; labour legislation that ensures that the jobs created. pay a decent salary and respect minimum health and safety conditions. These three sets of policies will then have to be complemented by more specific interventions tailored to each country’s poverty dynamics.

  • Designing the policies needed to tackle chronic poverty, stop impoverishment and support escapes from poverty requires panel surveys, which follow the same households over several years, enabling the tracking of movements in and out of poverty. Significant investment in national (and sub-national) panel data by governments, donors and international institutions need to be part of the effort of eradicating extreme poverty.

You can download the Chronic Poverty Report at http://www.odi.org/chronic-poverty

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