United Nations

A/50/396


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 September 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Item 97 (i) of the provisional agenda*


          SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC COOPERATION:
          INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY IN
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Report of the Secretary-General


INTRODUCTION

1.   The  present  report  is  submitted  in  response to  General  Assembly
resolution 48/184 of  21 December 1993, entitled "International  cooperation
for  the  eradication  of  poverty  in   developing  countries".    In  that
resolution, the  Assembly, inter alia,  requested the Secretary-General  "to
urge the organs,  organizations and bodies of  the United Nations system, in
the framework of the help  they give to developing  countries, to strengthen
their institutional  capacities for  implementing their poverty  eradication
programmes  and   to  adopt  a  coordinated  and  integrated  approach  that
includes, inter alia, the  role and needs of women, with attention to social
services,  income  generation  and  the  increased  participation  of  local
communities".

2.   The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General  to submit an updated
report at its forty-ninth session focusing,  inter alia, on the  development
of  appropriate inputs  to  country  programmes  by  relevant  agencies  and
organizations  of   the  United  Nations  system,   based  on  exchange   of
information on and analysis of  the operations of actual  programmes and the
identification   of   constraints   and   weaknesses   of   operational  and
coordinating  capacities owing to a  lack of resources, as  well as focusing
on elements for the elaboration of multisectoral strategies.




________________________

  *  A/50/150.


95-27055 (E)   231095/...
*9527055*
3.   The  submission of  the present  report  was  deferred to  the fiftieth

session  of the General  Assembly as  the organizations of  the system were,
until this year, actively engaged in  the preparations for the  World Summit
for Social Development  and the outcome of the Summit was expected to have a
substantial impact on the orientations and priorities of their programmes.

4.   This report has been prepared  in consultation with and on the basis of
information provided by the organs, organizations  and bodies of the  United
Nations system.  The information on  programming and coordination issues  at
the country level  has been gathered  from a few  resident coordinators  and
the   field  missions   carried  out   in  preparation  for   the  triennial
comprehensive policy review of operational activities,  as well as from  the
work undertaken by the Consultative  Committee on Programme  and Operational
Questions  (CCPOQ) of the Administrative Committee on  Coordination (ACC) on
poverty eradication.

5.   It is  useful to bear in mind that  the issues addressed in this report
are closely related to a number of other  issues that will be considered  by
the  General Assembly in the  context of the  International Year for Poverty
Eradication,  follow-up  to the  World Summit  for  Social Development,  the
coordinated  follow-up   to  major  United   Nations  conferences  and   the
comprehensive policy review of operational  activities.  This report should,
therefore, be  seen together  with the  reports submitted  under the  agenda
items concerned with those subjects.


                I.  POVERTY ERADICATION AS A COMMON THEME OF MAJOR
                    INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES

6.  Poverty eradication has  figured prominently as a  priority objective of
all the major United Nations conferences convened  over the past five years.
The report  of the Secretary-General on  the coordinated  follow-up to major
international  conferences  in the  economic,  social  and  related  fields,
submitted to  the Economic and Social  Council at its substantive session of
1995,  identified poverty eradication  as one  of 12  common themes emerging
from these  conferences (see  E/1995/86, para.  57 and  table 1).   For  the
purposes of the present report, however, the outcomes  of the United Nations
Conference  on  Environment  and  Development  (UNCED),  the   International
Conference  on  Population  and  Development (ICPD),  the  World  Summit for
Social Development  (WSSD) and  the Fourth  World Conference  on Women  have
particular relevance  as these have  a direct  bearing on the  activities of
the  United  Nations  system  at  the  country  level.    In  the  following
paragraphs,  the  main  highlights  of  UNCED,  ICPD  and  the  Fourth World
Conference  on Women  are summarized.   Since  the World  Summit for  Social
Development  addressed poverty  eradication comprehensively  as one  of  its
three major themes,  the outcome of  WSSD is  dealt with  separately in  the
next section.

Agenda 21

7.  At UNCED, the international  community recognized that combating poverty
was  an  indispensable  requirement  for  sustainable development.  1/    It
underscored  that  the problems  of  poverty,  development  and  sustainable
resource management were to be tackled  simultaneously.  This was translated
into  the long-term  objective set  by Agenda  21  to  enable all  people to
achieve sustainable livelihoods. 2/

8.  To achieve this  objective it was necessary to give greater priority  to
policies  promoting  integrated  human resource  development.      Agenda 21
called for cross-cutting measures in the  areas of basic education,  primary
and  maternal  health care,  and  the advancement  of  women, but  also  for
increased access  to resources  in the  context of  sustainable development,
with a  special focus on the  urban poor, women,  children and rural  areas.
Measures to ensure that  women and men  are enabled and have the  same right
to decide  freely  and  responsibly on  the  number  and  spacing  of  their
children are also called for under the objective of poverty eradication. 

9.   Agenda 21  aimed at  promoting a  community-driven approach to  poverty
reduction and  sustainability.  It therefore  called for  measures to enable
local  and  community  groups  to  contribute  to  alleviating  poverty  and
developing sustainability. 3/

10.   Poverty-stricken areas  were to  be targeted  by integrated strategies
and  programmes  in  the  areas  of  poverty  eradication  and  alleviation,
employment   and  income   mobilization,   resource  mobilization   and  the
environment.

11.      Country-specific  programmes   directed  at   eradicating  poverty,
international efforts supporting national efforts and creating a  supportive
international  environment were all crucial for eradicating  poverty.  UNCED
called for cooperation by all States and all  people in eradicating poverty.
4/  The  United Nations system  was invited  to make  poverty eradication  a
major  priority.  This  included, inter  alia, assisting  Governments in the
formulation  and  implementation   of  national  action  plans  on   poverty
alleviation  and  sustainable  development,  strengthening  coordination  of
actions   relating  to   poverty  eradication  5/  and   ensuring  that  the
international   economic    framework   and   policies   of    international
organizations addressed social and environmental concerns. 6/

International Conference on Population and Development

12.   ICPD marked  the recognition  that persistent  and widespread  poverty
influences and is influenced by demographic  parameters.  It highlighted the
complementarity and  the positive  synergies that exist  between efforts  to
reduce  poverty  and strategies  to  slow  down population  growth,  achieve
economic   progress,    improve   environmental   protection   and    reduce
unsustainable  consumption  and production  patterns.  7/    Strategies  for
sustainable  development,  population  strategies   and  efforts  to  reduce
poverty are thus to be designed and conducted in an integrated manner.

13.  As did  UNCED, ICPD reaffirmed the  objective of poverty eradication as
an  indispensable  requirement for  sustainable  development.  8/   It  also
clearly  reaffirmed that  poverty was  irreconcilable  with the  concept  of
development, as  the rights  and aspirations  of women  and men were  at the
centre of  development. Also  as did  UNCED, ICPD  called for  the right  to
development to be fulfilled.  9/ But ICPD also  affirmed the right  of human
beings to an adequate standard  of living for themselves and their families.
10/
  14.   ICPD  called  for priority  to  be  given  to investments  in  human
resource  development,  with  a  special  focus  on  underserved members  of
society. Eliminating  all  forms  of  discrimination  against  women  was  a
prerequisite to poverty eradication, as well as to environmental  protection
and  conservation, sustained economic  growth and population goals.  Actions
to strengthen food security at all levels and to facilitate the creation  of
environmentally  sound  and  productive  jobs  also  pertained  to   poverty
eradication. 

15.  ICPD,  as did UNCED, called for the  cooperation of all States and  all
people  in poverty eradication.   It  drew attention to the  importance of a
supportive  international economic  environment,  to the  special  needs  of
developing  countries  in  the  area  of  poverty  eradication,  and  to the
situation of countries with economies in  transition. 11/  Governments  were
urged  to devote an  increased proportion  of public  sector expenditure and
official development assistance  to the  social sector  and, in  particular,
poverty eradication. 12/

Fourth World Conference on Women

16.   The persistent and increasing  burden of poverty on  women was one  of
the critical areas  of concern identified in  the draft platform  for action
of the Fourth  World Conference on  Women as requiring  strategic action  by
Governments and the international community. 13/

17.   The World  Conference highlighted  the fact  that while  women bore  a
disproportionate  burden  of  poverty,  macroeconomic  and  social  policies
failed to reach  them due to a too-exclusive  focus on the formal sector and
the failure  of those policies  to consider the  differential impact on  men
and women.   It was emphasized that empowering  women was a critical  factor
in the eradication of  poverty, as women contributed  to the economy  and to
eradicating poverty through both their remunerated and unremunerated work.

18.  The Conference  called for action by  Governments to review,  adopt and
maintain macroeconomic policies and development strategies that address  the
needs and  efforts  of women  to overcome  poverty within  the framework  of
sustainable  development.  14/    This  included  analysing  from  a  gender
perspective  all  policies  and  programmes,  and  action  by   multilateral
financial institutions and  development institutions to assess and  minimize
the negative social and gender-specific effects of macroeconomic policies.

19.  Action to recognize women's rights to economic resources and to  ensure
women's access  to economic resources  was also  called for.   This included
revision  of  laws and  administrative practices  found to  restrict women's
rights. The  Conference also called for action to provide  women with access
to savings mechanisms  and institutions and to  credit, and for research  on
methodologies and statistical data  to integrate a  gender perspective  into
all policies and programmes and to enable women to overcome poverty.


            II.  WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AS THE FRAMEWORK FOR
                INTER-AGENCY COOPERATION FOR THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY

20.    Coordination and  cooperation  by  the  organizations  of the  United
Nations system  in  the eradication  of  poverty  has  been the  subject  of
previous  reports  as  well  as  of  intergovernmental  discussions.    Most
recently, in 1992 the Economic and  Social Council devoted its  coordination
segment to this  issue on the  basis of  a report  by the  Secretary-General
(E/1992/47).   The  report  put  forward a  broad  and positive  concept  of
coordination that  would result  in a  coherent continuum  of activities  to
achieve  a common purpose.   Indeed,  it noted  that effective collaboration
could exist only when  there were common purposes which  in turn must be the
product  of  consultations  and  agreement among  the  organizations  of the
system on major priorities  and the responses to  them.  This  would require
as a sine qua non the setting of political priorities for the  system by the
central intergovernmental bodies.  The United  Nations system would then use
the overall  strategies and  approaches thus  developed as  a framework  and
operational guide in developing harmonized plans  and programmes as well  as
a joint evaluation of their results and impact.

21.    The required  common  purpose  and  the requisite  commitment  by the
international community at  the highest  political level to the  eradication
of  poverty  has  evolved  from  recent  major  United  Nations  conferences
including  UNCED,  ICPD,  the  Fourth  World  Conference  on  Women  and, in
particular,  the  World  Summit  for  Social  Development,  which  addressed
poverty as one of its three major themes.   More specifically, the  national
and  international approaches  and  strategies  have been  described in  the
Declaration and  Programme of Action adopted by the World  Summit for Social
Development.  The outcome  of the Summit thus provides a coherent  framework
for  system-wide  action in  this  area.    The  Copenhagen Declaration  and
Programme  of Action  reflect an  international consensus  on the principles
and goals, the commitments undertaken and  the actions required to eradicate
poverty and provide the benchmarks against which  system-wide activities can
be  developed and assessed.   Poverty  eradication has  clearly emerged from
the Summit as a key development priority.

22.  At  the Summit, heads of State  and Government committed themselves  to
"an  improved and  strengthened framework  for international,  regional  and
subregional  cooperation for social development, in a spirit of partnership,
through the  United  Nations  and other  multilateral institutions".    They
accordingly  agreed to  enlist the  support  and  cooperation of  the United

Nations  system,   international  development   agencies  and   multilateral
development  banks  "to  take  appropriate  and  coordinated  measures   for
continuous and sustained  progress in  attaining the  goals and  commitments
agreed  to  by  the  Summit.    The United  Nations  and  the  Bretton Woods
institutions should establish  regular and  substantive dialogue,  including
at  the  field level,  for  more  effective  and  efficient coordination  of
assistance for social development".  Governments  also decided to "adopt the
appropriate  measures and  mechanisms for  implementing and  monitoring  the
outcome  of  the  [Summit],  with  the  assistance,  upon  request,  of  the
specialized  agencies, programmes  and regional  commissions of  the  United
Nations system, with broad participation of  all sectors of civil  society".
15/

23.  Strong emphasis is placed  in the Copenhagen Programme of Action on the
formulation  of   integrated  strategies  to   eradicate  poverty.     These
strategies should  be based on promoting  sustained economic  growth, in the
context  of sustainable  development, and  social progress,  requiring  that
growth  be broadly based  and offering  equal opportunities  to all peoples.
In the context of  national plans, the Programme of Action stresses the need
to  give  particular  attention  to  employment   creation  as  a  means  of
eradicating  poverty,  giving   appropriate  consideration  to  health   and
education, assigning a higher priority to basic  social services, generating
household  income and  promoting access  to productive  assets and  economic
opportunities.   Governments are  urged to  integrate goals  and targets for
combating poverty into overall economic and  social policies and planning at
the local, national and, where appropriate,  regional levels.  The Programme
of Action further calls for the empowerment of  people living in poverty and
their organizations by  involving them fully  in the setting of  targets and
in  the  design,  implementation,  monitoring  and  assessment  of  national
strategies and programmes for poverty  eradication and by integrating gender
concerns into the planning and implementation of policies and programmes.
24.    The  Copenhagen  Programme  of  Action  sets  among  the requirements
specified for  the promotion of an integrated approach at the national level
the formulation or  strengthening, by 1996, of comprehensive  cross-sectoral
strategies  for  implementing  the  outcome  of   the  Summit  and  national
strategies  for  social  development,  including  government action,  action
taken  by  States in  cooperation  with  other  Governments,  international,
regional and subregional  organizations, and action taken in partnership and
cooperation  with actors  of  civil society  and   the private  sector, with
specific  responsibilities to be  undertaken by  each actor  and with agreed
priorities and time-frames.

25.    Each  country is  requested  to  develop  a  precise  definition  and
assessment of  absolute  poverty, preferably  by  1996,  at which  time  the
General  Assembly  will review  the  effectiveness  of  the  steps taken  to
implement the  outcome of the Summit  with regard to  poverty eradication as
part  of  the  activities  relating  to   the  International  Year  for  the
Eradication of Poverty (further information  on the International  Year will
be provided in a  separate report).  The Copenhagen Programme of Action also
recommends  that the  General  Assembly,  at its  fiftieth  session,  should
declare  the first  United Nations  decade  for  the eradication  of poverty
following the  conclusion of the International  Year for  the Eradication of
Poverty in  1996, with a  view to  considering further  initiatives in  this
area.


              III.  AN OVERVIEW OF POLICIES, MULTISECTORAL STRATEGIES
                    AND PROGRAMMES RELATING TO POVERTY

              A.  Typology of activities of the United Nations system
                  for the eradication of poverty

26.  Given  the complexity of  the issue  of poverty and  the wide range  of
related activities undertaken by the organizations of the system,  it may be
useful to group these  activities according to the goals that each  activity
is  designed to achieve.  Indeed,  such an effort  has been made recently by

CCPOQ  16/ to facilitate  its review  of the policies and  programmes of the
system relating to poverty eradication.

 27.   CCPOQ  classifies the  work of  organizations of  the United  Nations
system into the following categories:

  (a)    Analytical  work  focusing  on   the  problem  of  definition   and
determinants of poverty, the methodology for  the assessment of poverty  and
the  development of  corresponding  indicators.   A  subject  of  particular
interest  over  the  past   decade  has  been  the  impact  on  poverty   of
stabilization,   structural  adjustment  and   economic  and  social  reform
programmes  adopted by  a  large  number of  countries with  the  advice and
assistance of  the International  Monetary Fund  (IMF) and  the World  Bank.
The result  of this research has  had an important  influence on the  design
and content of more recent adjustment programmes;

  (b)  Income-generating activities seeking to  increase the incomes of  the
poor  through  employment creation  and productivity-enhancing  measures and
focusing on sectors in which the poor are largely concentrated;

  (c)  Labour-intensive public works.   The labour-intensive approach to the
production of  assets, goods and other  services involves the use of working
methods and  systems that optimize labour  content, usually  through a cost-
effective combination of labour and the use of light equipment;

  (d)   Access  to basic  services.   Many agencies  of the  United  Nations
system  are involved  in activities to  develop or strengthen  the access of
the   poor  to  basic  services  including  low-cost  safe  water  supplies,
sanitation and hygiene, primary health-care facilities and basic education;

  (e)  Social funds  and safety nets.   Several United Nations agencies  are
increasingly  involved  in  providing  funds  or  technical  assistance   to
establish  various  forms  of  social  funds  and  safety  nets  to  protect
vulnerable groups;

  (f)   Participation  of the  poor.   There  is  an increasing  tendency to
introduce  a  participatory  approach  in the  programmes  and  projects  of
several agencies.  Participation is regarded  by some agencies as  desirable
in  its own right linked to the empowerment of the poor; other agencies view
participation  as   a  means  to   promote  economic   efficiency  and   the
sustainability of anti-poverty projects;

  (g)     Anti-discrimination   activities.     Agencies  help   to   reduce
discrimination  in various  ways,  including the  collection,  analysis  and
dissemination of information on  discriminatory practices; the establishment
of  international  standards; the  improvement of  conditions in  the labour
market and the prevention of child labour;

  (h)   Monitoring poverty  changes.   A number of agencies  are involved in
either the measurement of,  or reporting on poverty, and a few are  directly
involved in  poverty-related data  collection.   At the inter-agency  level,
measurement of poverty is  undertaken by a task  force of the United Nations
Statistical Commission.  The ACC Subcommittee  on Rural Development has been
examining various aspects of poverty alleviation strategies.


                    B.  The policies of the United Nations system
                       and multisectoral strategies

28.   Within the framework  of the global  consensus reflected  at the World
Summit for  Social Development,  most organizations  have articulated  broad
policies  and   multisectoral  strategies  which   provide  the  basis   for
developing  specific anti-poverty  programmes.   CCPOQ  notes, 17/  in  this
context, that  the view is  now widespread  among the  organizations of  the
United  Nations system  that  the best  way  of alleviating  poverty  is  to
implement  successfully  a  development   strategy  that  pursues  sustained

economic  growth  with equity.    More  equitable growth  almost  invariably
implies  more employment-intensive  patterns of  growth which  increase  the
demand for labour, the  major asset of the poor and are more equitable.  The
employment-generating capacity  of growth can  be enhanced  by investing  in
the   more  labour-intensive   sectors  of   the  economy   (in   particular
agriculture) by  increasing investments in  human capital (basic  education,
primary  health care, nutrition  and population  programmes) and by reducing
or  removing  distortions  in  relative  factor  prices  that  arise  from a
malfunctioning  of the  labour market  or of  the  market  for credit.   The
sustainability  of development  is a  dimension that has  acquired increased
importance in this regard.   Following is a brief overview of such  policies
and strategies.

29.    The  United  Nations  Children's  Fund  (UNICEF)  considers  that the
delivery of  basic social services  is one of  the most  effective and cost-
efficient  ways to combat the worst manifestations of poverty.  It therefore
focuses the bulk  of its operational support  and resources on the provision
of  basic social services  for the  survival, protection  and development of
children and women.   In the context  of the 20/20 initiative, as  reflected
in the  outcome of the  World Summit  for Social  Development, basic  social
services are  taken to  comprise basic  education, primary  health care  and
family  planning  services,  low-cost  water  and  sanitation  services  and
nutrition  programmes.    UNICEF  pays  special  attention  to  children  in
especially difficult circumstances, particularly  street children and  child
labour.

30.  UNICEF  has espoused the  concept of  "adjustment with a human  face" -
encouraging  the redesign  of adjustment  programmes  to  allow the  poor to
participate  more  effectively   in  the  process  of  economic  and  social
development  and to  ensure  their  protection  during periods  of  economic
stagnation and  fiscal austerity.   Of  particular importance  has been  its
insistence that the  debate needed to shift from  an excessive focus on  the
macro policy  framework  to the  meso level  - the  policy instruments  that
govern  the allocation  of  resources  within a  given macroeconomic  policy
framework.   These instruments  include public  expenditure allocation,  aid
utilization, credit  allocation, income and  pricing policy, taxation,  etc.
UNICEF  will continue its  collaboration with the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP),  the  United  Nations Population  Fund (UNFPA)  and  other
agencies to  conduct public finance analysis  in order  to encourage greater
allocation of resources for basic social services.

31.   UNICEF's experience in  the area of  poverty eradication  has drawn it
into special areas  of programme support.   The feminization of poverty  and
especially the preponderance and rapid increase of female-headed  households
constitutes one of the  primary areas of concern  for UNICEF's work  in both
rural  and  urban areas.  Programme interventions  targeted  at this  group,
albeit  predominantly  curative  in  character,   have  proved  particularly
effective in mitigating the  worst effects of poverty.  Preventive and  more
self-sustaining programmes  include those aimed at  the girl  child.  UNICEF
works  with Governments and  communities to  help equip  girls through early
health and  education interventions.  On  the broader  societal level UNICEF
works  towards promoting the  elimination of  gender biases  in families and
social programmes.   The  work of  UNICEF is  guided by  the outcome  of the
World Summit for  Children, at which Governments  agreed to achieve, by  the
year 2000,  a one-third  reduction of  the infant  and under-five  mortality
rate, a halving of  maternal mortality and malnutrition  rates, a halving of
the adult  illiteracy rate,  universal access  to clean  drinking water  and
safe  sanitation,  universal  access to  basic  education  and  the improved
protection of children in especially difficult circumstances.

32.   At the  country level,  UNICEF contributes to the  analysis of poverty
through  the preparation of  the situation  analysis of  children and women.
In addition, the national programmes of  action for the survival, protection
and  development of  children  in  the 1990s  take  a broader  focus on  the
poverty problem  and provide  the programmatic  and institutional  framework
for achieving national  goals. UNICEF  works to  ensure consistency  between

the situation  analysis, the national programmes  of action  and the country
strategy note.

33.  The mandate  of the World Food  Programme (WFP)  is to seek hunger  and
poverty  alleviation.     Its   assistance  programmes   are  designed   and
implemented on  the basis  of broad-based  participation, with a  particular
focus  on women  and their  children.   It has  developed project guidelines
which specify the nature and type of collaboration with other actors in  the
United  Nations  system  for  the  preparation  and  implementation  of  its
projects.  WFP has begun the process of preparing country strategy  outlines
(CSOs)  for  the  assessment  of  the  comparative  advantage  of  using its
resources for poverty eradication.   CSO preparation involves  an assessment
of the poverty and food insecurity  problem, understanding the policies  and
strategies  of the  national Governments  in  addressing these  issues,  and
examining the relative roles  of other agencies, donors and NGOs in  poverty
eradication  and food insecurity reduction.  CSOs examine the role and needs
of women,  the provision  of social  services,  opportunities for  assisting
income generation and  scope for community participation.  Sectoral  aspects
such  as the feminization  of poverty, rural  poverty and  urban poverty are
part of this examination.

34.  WFP's General  Regulations are being  revised to  enable it to adopt  a
programme   approach  based   on  country-specific   strategies.     Country
programmes (CPs), which would  be based on  CSOs, would be in line  with the
requirements of General Assembly resolution 47/199.   WFP considers that the
advantages include increased operational flexibility and  a higher degree of
predictability  for recipient  Governments.   These in  turn portend  better
allocation  mechanisms,  and hence  more effective  use of  resources rather
than for gap  filling.  The flexibility, in  particular, could be put to use
not only in responding to unforeseen  needs for intraprogramme changes,  but
also  in   responding  to   demands  from   multi-agency  coordination   and
integration  efforts.    The  guidelines  for  CSO/CP  preparation   include
provisions to ensure that they are linked to the country strategy note.

 35.   UNFPA  contributes towards  the  eradication  of poverty  through the
promotion  and  implementation  of  population  and sustainable  development
programmes. UNFPA-supported activities have been primarily oriented  towards
less  developed countries and  to low-income groups both  in rural and urban
areas, with emphasis  on women of  reproductive age.   In  this regard,  all
UNFPA-supported  programmes  are  ultimately  addressed  to  the  poor   and
conceived to  foster social and economic  development which  lead to poverty
eradication.  Its approach to social  development includes the provision  of
social services (education,  health, family planning), employment generation
and community involvement in development efforts.   UNFPA country programmes
place  a  heavy emphasis  on  gender  equality  and  equity in  formulating,
implementing and evaluating all population programmes. Priority is  assigned
to  the integration  of  population inputs  into broader  development policy
frameworks such  as the country  strategy notes,  rolling development plans,
structural  adjustment programmes  and sectoral  policy frameworks.    These
include  the  empowerment  of  women -  the  participation of  women  in all
development activities  at all  levels, from health and  literacy programmes
to income generation and job creation.

36.  The  fundamental objective of the World Bank is to  assist countries to
reduce poverty and raise living standards.   The poverty reduction  strategy
that  the   Bank  encourages  countries   to  follow  is   multidimensional,
encompassing broad-based,  labour-demanding economic  growth, human resource
development and provision of  safety nets for  the poor and vulnerable.   It
defines its assistance to a country  through the country assistance strategy
(CAS).     The  findings  of   country-specific  poverty  analysis,   public
expenditure reviews  and other  economic and  sector studies  form the  main
input to  the CAS; thus, the  CAS is an  important instrument for  tailoring
the Bank's assistance -whether policy advice, technical assistance,  project
lending  or   loans  in  support  of  policy  reforms  -   to  the  specific
circumstances  of each  country.   The Bank  uses household  survey data  in
undertaking detailed poverty analyses.   Increasingly, the Bank  is adopting

a   participatory  approach  to  poverty  analysis;  it  involves  the  poor
themselves in the  identification of their  problems and  needs and also  in
the actual design and implementation of projects.

37.   IMF policy advice  has increasingly emphasized the social dimension of
adjustment and has  paid greater attention  to social issues in  the context
of surveillance and members'  economic policies, financial support to member
countries implementing adjustment  programmes and technical assistance.   It
stresses the  importance of a high-quality  growth strategy, which  implies:
pursuing   economic   policies   that    foster   macroeconomic   stability;
implementing  structural  policies  designed  to  allow  market  forces   to
allocate resources and  create an  enabling environment  for private  sector
activity; implementing sound  social policies, including social safety  nets
to protect the poor and vulnerable groups during  the adjustment period; and
strengthening  economic  governance.   In  this context,  the  Fund's policy
advice  emphasizes macroeconomic  implications,  cost-effectiveness  and the
financial viability of social policy choices.

38.   IMF indicates  that it  is continuously seeking to  improve its policy
advice and programme design based on past experience.  It will continue  its
advice  on sound  macroeconomic  policies  aimed  at high-quality  growth  -
growth  which fosters  employment, poverty  reduction and  greater  equity -
and, in  so doing, it will  strengthen its attention to  social issues.   It
considers that  there is  a need  to help  Governments analyse  the existing
inequalities,  in  particular  unequal  access  to  education,  health   and
economic  resources such  as credit and  land.  Second,  there is a  need to
help  Governments  improve  the equity  content  of  public  expenditure  by
reducing  unproductive expenditures,  including  military spending,  and  by
increasing  the  level  and  quality  of  expenditures  on  primary  health,
education and rural infrastructure.  It  is important for budgetary policies
to  be  consistent  with  the  Government's   stated  social  goals,  to  be
transparent  and  to  be  supported  by   donor  aid  policies.    Moreover,
Governments should  be helped  to address structural weaknesses  - including
lack of  financial institutions - in the  rural areas where most of the poor
live.   Finally, through  policy discussions  and  technical assistance  IMF
could  contribute further  to  improving Governments'  capacity  to  monitor
social developments and pursue transparent social policies.

39.  Rural poverty alleviation in the developing  world is the sole  mandate
of the  International Fund  for Agricultural  Development (IFAD).   All  its
activities  - the  field projects  for  adaptive research  and  institution-
building - focus  on this single goal.  While the primary objective has been
to assist smallholders to increase food production and income and to  expand
the opportunities  for the  rural landless  to  engage in  income-generating
enterprises, attention has also  been given to improving the quality of life
of the  poor.  IFAD encourages  and  supports  the active  participation  of
people in all phases  of the development process,  from project planning  to
implementation  and   monitoring  and  assessment.     To  facilitate   this
participation,  essential  support  is  provided  in  the  form  of  credit,
extension services and  training as well as appropriate technologies,  along
with ongoing efforts to ensure  a policy environment that  favours the rural
poor. 

40.   IFAD's special programming missions  have been  the analytic mechanism
for the articulation of the Fund's  country policy and investment  strategy.
The  missions are  meant to  provide  clear  indications of  priority target
groups  and  activities  for  IFAD  project  assistance  within  a long-term
development  strategy  for  the  country.    The  missions  have  involved a
thorough  review of the  nature and  impact of  policy instruments affecting
the  production  capacity, employment  opportunities, income  generation and
standards of living of  the rural poor.  To respond to specific requirements
for  strategic  guidance  on  national  strategy  and  project  development,
country strategy studies  have been developed as a supplementary  mechanism.
They serve to review  the general thrust of IFAD's activities in the country
in relation to major bottlenecks in the development of smallholders and  the
rural poor.   They assess the significance of implementation issues for both

general  strategy  and project  design and  formulate guidelines  for IFAD's
operations.  IFAD's operational strategy targets beneficiaries, focusing  on
smallholders and poor rural women farmers, with the  aim of increasing their
agricultural  production; landless  and marginal  farmers, with  the  aim of
increasing their off-farm incomes; and those  other rural poor delinked from
the  development  mainstream  such  as  remote,  indigenous  or   culturally
isolated people,  as well  as refugees,  so as  to integrate  them into  the
development process.  The strategy is also aimed at expanding the access  of
the  poor to basic resources  and to market opportunities,  and at enhancing
people's participation and institution-building  at the grass-roots,  local,
regional or national levels.   In order to fulfil  its mandate, IFAD has had
to develop a specific knowledge of rural poverty  that goes well beyond  the
macro-data  available   on  the  situation   and  involves  the   systematic
collection of micro-data to capture the  highly diversified realities of the
rural poor.

41.    IFAD   reports  that  it  has  participated,  and  will  continue  to
participate, in a number of  task forces and coordination efforts within the
system  regarding follow-up to  the major  international conferences.   As a
member  of  the Joint  Consultative  Group on  Policy  (JCGP),  IFAD  took a
leading role in establishing a working  group on environment and sustainable
development, and as Chair  for 1995-1996 it  will make every effort to  work
towards  inter-agency  collaboration on  this  and  other  essential  issues
regarding  the contribution  of the  United  Nations  to the  alleviation of
hunger and poverty.

42.  The  Declaration of Principles  and Programme  of Action  of the  World
Conference on Agrarian  Reform and Rural  Development has been the  frame of
reference of the activities of  the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations  (FAO) on poverty eradication  since 1979.   Various services
of FAO have been  reoriented to better support the efforts of Governments to
address  the problems  of the  rural  poor  and other  disadvantaged groups,
including the  landless, rural  women, tenants,  non-farm rural workers  and
pastoralists.   Under its  programmes FAO  collaborates with  Governments in
undertaking  the institutional  and  structural transformations  that  would
facilitate  easy access  of  the rural  poor  to  natural  resources and  to
production  inputs  such  as  credit,  and  to  reinforce  their  productive
capacity  through training and cooperative  action.  The revised FAO Plan of
Action for Integration  of Women in Development (1996-2001) and the FAO Plan
of  Action  for  People's Participation  in  Rural  Development  provide the
institutional  frameworks  and  mechanisms  for promoting  and  facilitating
efforts  to overcome constraints  and to  increase the  involvement of rural
women and  men as  contributors and  beneficiaries of  economic, social  and
political  development.   With  specific  reference  to  women, FAO  strives
towards promoting  gender-based  equity in  the  access  to and  control  of
productive resources  (land, labour,  capital and  technology) and  services
(extension,  credit, marketing,  etc.); in  enhancing the  participation  of
women  in  decisionand  policy-making  processes   at  all  levels;  and  in
promoting  actions to  reduce the  workloads  of  women and  enhancing their
opportunities for income-generating activities and remunerated employment.

43.   At  the country level  FAO has collaborated  with the agencies  of the
United  Nations system in  fielding inter-agency  policy advice  missions to
over 30  countries in  Africa, Asia  and the  Pacific and  Latin America  to
advise  on  the adoption  of  national  policies  and  strategies to  ensure
sustainable  poverty eradication  through growth  with equity  and  people's
participation.

44.    The  International  Labour  Organization  (ILO)  considers  that  the
creation of productive employment is the  most effective approach to poverty
eradication and should be the main  theme underlying an integrated  approach
to  development including,  inter alia,  the  role and  needs of  women, the
provision  of   social  services,  income   generation  and  the   increased
participation of  local communities.  Its activities in the  area of poverty
eradication place  considerable emphasis on  the unorganized sectors,  women
and  vulnerable  groups,  and  the  participatory  approach.    In  order to

increase  its effectiveness in  providing assistance to its constituents and
to ensure that this  assistance responds to real needs in a timely  fashion,
ILO  has in recent  years considerably  strengthened its  field structure by
creating  multidisciplinary  advisory teams  in various  developing regions.
The  ILO area offices,  with the assistance of  these teams, prepare country
objective  statements  following  extensive  consultation  with  Government,
employers' and workers'  organizations, United Nations agencies and  donors.
These  multidisciplinary teams  have specialists  on employment  and  income
generation and several of them include  specialists on women in  development
to ensure that this  dimension is fully  reflected in all ILO activities  at
the country level.

45.   The World  Health Organization  (WHO)  considers that  poverty is  the
world's  leading  cause  of  illness  and  death.    All  of  its  work   in
international   health,   particularly   its   technical  cooperation   with
countries,  aims at overcoming  the root  causes of  poverty and ill-health.
WHO  has established  a Global  Task Force  on Health and  Development which
analyses the  evolution of health determinants,  especially those which  are
poverty related, identifying  relevant health strategies and advocating  for
change.  It  is actively promoting  the development of  national health  and
service monitoring and  evaluation, including health indicator  development.
As countries  have endorsed and are implementing the Health for All strategy
through primary  health care,  the importance of  monitoring and  evaluating
its implementation  has been  brought to  the  forefront. As  part of  WHO's
efforts  to  implement  the  World  Declaration   and  Plan  of  Action  for
Nutrition, it has  intensified its technical  cooperation with  countries by
assisting them in developing and implementing  national plans of action  for
nutrition.

46.    Operationally, most  WHO  programmes  for technical  cooperation with
developing  countries have focused  on expansion  of coverage  and access to
essential health  services and  health promotion,  especially those  meeting
the  needs  of  women  and  children.    Control  of  communicable diseases,
ensurance  of proper nutrition  and provision  of safe water  supply are key
programmes  that will promote  health and  contribute to  the eradication of
poverty.   A special  initiative of Intensified  Cooperation with  Countries
and Peoples  in Greatest  Need, launched  by WHO  a few  years ago, aims  to
enable poor countries  to establish equitable and sustainable health systems
tailored to  their specific needs.   Following  situation assessments, plans
of action are developed  and additional resources  mobilized through  better
use of local  resources and improved aid management.   The UNDP Round  Table
or the  World Bank Consultative Group  processes have  been extensively used
to achieve better aid coordination in this regard.

47.   Follow-up by the United  Nations Educational,  Scientific and Cultural
Organization  (UNESCO)   to  the  World   Summit  for  Social   Development,
especially under  commitment 6, will continue  to place  emphasis on meeting
the goals and objectives of the Education for  All programme as an  integral
approach to eradicating  illiteracy - one of the  root causes as well as  an
effect of  poverty. The  aim of  this strategy is  to close the  gap between
literate and  illiterate populations and  to devise sustainable  educational
development that  responds to  present societal,  individual and  collective
life-long needs  as  well  as to  the  needs  of  future  generations,  with
emphasis being placed on  girls and women, particularly  in rural areas.   A
number of  ongoing activities are geared  to improving  the policy knowledge
based on  the nature,  causes and consequences  of poverty.   At the  global
level, comparative  studies sponsored  under UNESCO's  Management of  Social
Transformations  Programme will  examine  the differential  effects  of  the
accelerating  process of  globalization,  especially the  social  impact  of
economic restructuring  on employment equity within and among countries with
special  focus  on  providing  a  better  understanding  of  the  causes and
consequences of poverty in cities.

48.  In accordance  with the need  expressed in the Copenhagen Programme  of
Action,  UNESCO  will  support  Governments,  inter  alia, in  carrying  out
country-specific  studies  on causes  and  consequences  of poverty,  on the

impact  of structural adjustment  on the  poor, and on  the effectiveness of
anti-poverty  strategies.    UNESCO  will  also  facilitate the  sharing  of
experience  on innovative actions, with special focus on  the role and needs
of  women  in  combating  poverty,  related  to  how  communities  set their
development  priorities,  allocate  resources,  and  establish  partnerships
between  individuals,  communities  and  Government in  addressing  pressing
social  problems.  With  reference to  specific country programmes, UNESCO's
cooperation  with  UNDP  within  the  framework  of  the  Technical  Support
Services  (TSS-1) mechanism  has  progressively addressed  the  question  of
poverty eradication.

49.   Three out of  seven priority themes  identified by  the United Nations
Industrial  Development  Organization  (UNIDO)  for the  1996-1997  biennium
directly  focus on  poverty in  industrial  development:   small  and medium
enterprises, rural industrial  development and the linkage between  industry
and  agriculture, with a  focus on Africa and  the least developed countries
(LDCs).  It considers that once the role of specific agencies is  delineated
in  the country  strategy note,  inter-agency  support programmes  could  be
launched,  based on  agreed situation analyses around  specific themes, such
as in the  case of food security  which offers great  potential for  FAO and
UNIDO to work together.

50.   The  International Telecommunication  Union (ITU)  indicates that  its
development  arm,  the  Telecommunication   Development  Bureau,  could   be
involved  with  other  players  in  the  United  Nations  system  on poverty
eradication through integrated  rural development  in developing  countries,
which is  another top priority  programme for the  LDCs in  the Buenos Aires
Action  Plan for Global Telecommunication Development.  Its integrated rural
development  programme  includes  gender  issues  and  addresses  vulnerable
groups, such as children and the elderly.   ITU also addresses urban poverty
by focusing on the provision of transport and telecommunication facilities.

51.   The United  Nations Conference  on Trade and  Development (UNCTAD)  is
concerned  with the effect  of international  economic relations on poverty.
Its preliminary research  indicates that dualism and marginalization  within
developing countries can  be expected to  grow as  a result  of the  greater
emphasis on market forces,  but the widening  of the income gap between  the
poor  and the  non-poor could be  tempered in countries  which exploit their
comparative  advantage  in  low-cost  labour.     There  could   also  occur
intertemporal effects:  initially medium-term negative  effects on poor  and
vulnerable groups, followed  possibly by generally beneficial results.   The
negative effects  could be especially  marked for countries which liberalize
their economies and expose  themselves to globalizing influences before they
have achieved  basic improvements  in their  fiscal and  balance-of-payments
positions.

 52.    The  United  Nations  Environment  Programme (UNEP)  considers  that
poverty eradication and environmental sustainability both have social  roots
and  are interdependent.   It works to counteract  forces - rapid population
growth  and prevailing  poverty -  that increase  pressure on  environmental
resources, often  forcing communities into  unsustainable practices for  the
simple purpose of  obtaining the  food, fuel  and shelter  needed for  daily
survival.   UNEP  feels  that its  comparative  strengths  exist  in:    (i)
scientific  analysis of the development-environment  nexus and dissemination
of information on the state of  the environment; (ii) analysis,  elaboration
and provision of policy tools for  environmental management, as an  integral
component of development planning; and  (iii) promotion of  public awareness
and mobilization  of environmental actions,  including empowering women  and
enhanced participation  of non-governmental organizations  and a wide  range
of industry sectors.

53.  The United Nations  Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) is concerned
with  urban  poverty,  recognizing that  any  meaningful  solution  to  this
problem must  be  based on  increased  community  participation.   As  women
constitute  between 70 and  90 per cent of the  active residents in any low-
income community, efforts are aimed  at strengthening their participation at

all levels  of the community development  process.   Habitat also undertakes
activities, in collaboration  with other organizations of the United Nations
system,  to create  employment opportunities  in  the non-formal  sector and
empower the poor and disadvantaged.

54.  The programme of  work of the  Economic and Social Commission for  Asia
and  the Pacific (ESCAP)  in the  field of poverty eradication  is under the
jurisdiction  of  the Committee  on  Poverty  Alleviation  through  Economic
Growth  and  Social  Development,  one  of  the  three  thematic  committees
subsidiary  to the  Commission.   The  Commission  had convened  in  1994  a
regional  conference  in   preparation  for  the  World  Summit  for  Social
Development;  the Manila  Declaration on  the  Agenda  for Action  on Social
Development in the ESCAP region which  emerged provided the regional  policy
perspective  for the  Copenhagen Programme  of Action.  In facilitating  the
implementation  of  the  regional  Agenda,  work  is  under  way  to  assist
Governments in  preparing guidelines for  developing national programmes  of
action  and  setting  up  indicators  and   mechanisms  for  monitoring  and
evaluating the progress made.   The regional Inter-Agency Task  Force on the
Agenda for Action on Social Development  collaborated in the formulation  of
the Agenda  and  will continue  to  ensure  coordinated action  towards  its
implementation.

55.  ESCAP is  undertaking, in collaboration with other organizations of the
United  Nations  system,  activities relating  to the  participation  of the
poor, promoting  increased awareness  of  the linkages  between poverty  and
high population  growth  rates, changing  family  structures,  the role  and
status  of women,  rural poverty and  rural-urban migration.   Work is under
way  in  the area  of  poverty  measurement  through  coordination with  the
Economic  Commission for  Latin  America and  the Caribbean  (ECLAC), United
Nations Headquarters and the United  Nations Statistical Commission,  and in
developing  on-line   information.  The   Commission  has   recommended  the
establishment  of  an  interorganizational subcommittee  on  population  and
development  and an  inter-agency  subcommittee on  poverty  alleviation  to
promote a coherent regional approach for the United Nations system.

 56.   The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)  considers that the regional
commissions are  well placed  to exploit  in an  integrated and  coordinated
manner  the  inherent  synergy  in  the  linkages  among  the  sectors  that
contribute  to  the   eradication  of  poverty  given  the   region-specific
conditions of  poverty.  It  has developed  a number of  critical activities
around  the nexus  of  interrelationships between  food  supply,  population
dynamics  and  environmental  and  human  settlements concerns.    Its  also
focuses  attention on the  feminization of  poverty as well as  on urban and
rural poverty.   Overall direction is  provided by the Conference of African
Ministers Responsible for Economic and Social Development and Planning;  the
subsidiary  organs  review progress  in  the  implementation  of  regionally
agreed and  internationally  supported  strategies or  plans of  action  and
programmes which  address poverty eradication  directly.   These have proven
useful  in concerting the support  of agencies of the United Nations system.
ECA  considers  that coordination  at  the  regional  level  can be  further
improved  through  the  system  of  medium-term planning  and  the  biennial
programme budget exercises, as well as by  greater use of system-wide  plans
and  inter-agency task forces and  working groups, which can  be given added
practical expression in coordinated follow-up to global conferences.

57.  The declining growth of gross domestic product (GDP) and slow  recovery
rates in most  member States of  the Economic  Commission for Europe  (ECE),
accompanied   by  rising   unemployment  rates   and  cutbacks   in   social
expenditures,  have  resulted  in  the  appearance  or  growth  of  relative
poverty,  particularly  in  countries in  transition.   The  feminization of
poverty  is a concern  in this  region.   Coherent national gender-sensitive
policies need to be devised, possibly in the form of national reports  based
on  statistical   data  or  national  assessments.     ECE  is   undertaking
statistical work relating to the distribution  of income and the consumption
and accumulation of  households, which  encompasses poverty statistics.   It
notes  that the Copenhagen  Declaration and  Programme of  Action state that

the  regional commissions,  in  cooperation with  regional intergovernmental
organizations and banks,  could convene on a biennial  basis a meeting at  a
high  political level to evaluate progress made in  follow-up to the Summit,
exchange views and adopt  appropriate measures.  ECE suggests that, in  this
regard, a set of guiding principles  and methodologies for monitoring should
be established,  including poverty  indicators and indices, reported  by the
Interagency  Task Force on  the measurement  of poverty,  established by the
United  Nations  Statistical Commission  in  1994.    Finally, the  regional
meetings  planned for  1997  to  follow  up  the  World  Summit  for  Social
Development   could  also   determine  and   provide  inputs   for   poverty
eradication.

58.  The United Nations Research  Institute for Social Development  (UNRISD)
has undertaken  research  in recent  years  for  the enhancement  of  social
integration, focusing  primarily on  the preparations  for the World  Summit
for  Social  Development.    While  this   research  did  not  take  poverty
eradication  as  a central  theme,  it  did  indicate  that national  social
policy, however well intentioned, was everywhere  at risk. The rapidity  and
depth  of  technological and  social  change,  encouraged by  global  market
forces,  make it  increasingly difficult  for nations  adequately to protect
vulnerable and marginalized groups.   UNRISD is also carrying out a  project
to  strengthen  national  capacity  to  undertake  gender  analysis  and  to
integrate  gender into mainstream  development policy.   In  addition, it is
pursuing studies  on crisis,  adjustment and  social change  which   examine
individual  and collective  coping  strategies  and the  dynamics of  social
change at the sectoral and macro levels.

59.  The International Research and  Training Institute for the  Advancement
of Women  (INSTRAW) undertakes research and  training on  issues relevant to
the  advancement of  women, addressing  poverty  eradication among  women in
developing countries.  It considers that  the general framework of  research
strategies  or policy  and programme  designs  require reliable  and  timely
statistical data  which, in  the case of  women in particular,  are lacking.
INSTRAW is currently collaborating  with several organizations of the United
Nations system in addressing the gap  in information with regard  to women's
actual and potential contributions to economic  development.  It focuses its
efforts  with  respect to  women  living  in poverty  on  access  to  water,
sanitation and  energy,  the migration  of  women  and access  to  financial
resources, including credit.

60.  The  United Nations Relief and Works  Agency for Palestine Refugees  in
the  Near  East (UNRWA)  addresses  poverty  eradication  among  Palestinian
refugees by enhancing their  skills for raising income, facilitating finance
access for micro and small business  development, developing individual  and
group income- generating  projects, and training in starting businesses  and
transfer of  skills, technology  and information  on alternative  approaches
and strategies of poverty alleviation for  the promotion and development  of
sustainable and  communitymanaged  programmes and  activities.   Palestinian
refugee women  have specifically  been targeted  under these  interventions.
Under  its Special  Hardship  Assistance Programme,  UNRWA  provides  direct
relief  to approximately 180,000  persons, the  most needy  and the poorest.
In addition to basic food rations, families  also receive cash assistance in
emergencies and  financial  support for  the  repair  and reconstruction  of
their shelters  based on  individual family  needs and  the availability  of
financial resources.   More than 17 per cent of these families have women as
head  of household.   UNRWA  has also  developed a  database on  the  socio-
economic  status  of  the  poorest   refugees,  aimed  at   developing  more
integrated and multisectoral  approaches in poverty eradication  programmes.
UNRWA indicates  that its activities are  implemented in close  coordination
with   other  actors  in  the   United  Nations  system,  as  well  as  with
international non-governmental organizations and local voluntary groups.


               IV.  POVERTY ERADICATION PROGRAMMES AND COORDINATION
                    MECHANISMS AT THE COUNTRY LEVEL

61.    Seven  case  studies  of  the  experience gained  in  developing  and
implementing  poverty-eradication  programmes and  in  coordination  at  the
country level in developing countries are presented below.   These have been
drawn from the  work of CCPOQ referred to  above as well  as from some field
missions  carried out  over the  past year in  preparation of  the triennial
comprehensive policy review of operational activities  to be carried out  by
the General Assembly at  its fiftieth session.   The examples, drawn as they
are  from  countries  at  various  stages  of  development  and  located  in
different  regions of  the developing  world,  give  some indication  of the
scope  and range of  the poverty-eradication programmes and the coordination
efforts undertaken by United Nations agencies in this area.  They also  help
identify the main problems  and obstacles in the  way of mobilizing  a fully
effective and well-coordinated response to the challenge of poverty.
  A.  P4K programme in Indonesia for poverty reduction

62.  Indonesia has reduced  absolute poverty from 60 per cent in 1960 to  14
per cent in  1994.  The  United Nations  system has  made a contribution  to
this through an income-generating project for marginal farmers and  landless
people.

63.   The project identifies small homogenous groups of 8 to 10 members from
households identified  as  being below  the  poverty  line, defined  as  per
capita  income equivalent  to the  value of  320 kg  of rice  per year,  and
provides  opportunities   to  enhance   their  income-generating  capacities
through (i)  financial  intermediation;  (ii)  the purchase  and  supply  of
inputs; and  (iii)  marketing.   Altogether,  3,395  groups involve  350,000
families.  In the first phase (1979-1986), with  $2.7 million from UNDP  and
technical  support from  FAO,  an institutional  mechanism  in  agricultural
extension  and  rural  credit  was  established  and capital  assistance  to
businesses provided.

64.   Based on good  initial results, the  Government of Indonesia,  working
with IFAD, UNDP and the Government of the  Netherlands, started phase II  in
1989, covering 2,684 villages.   Capital assistance is  given in the form of
credit with interest of 22.1 per cent per year, without collateral.

65.   A mid-term evaluation  in October 1994  revealed that the  beneficiary
selection process  was rigorous enough to  target the poor  and that of  the
groups  identified, 35 per  cent were all female against  a target of 20 per
cent. Fifty-three per cent  of the groups used the loans for the households'
main  economic  activities  while  47  per   cent  used  them  for  sideline
activities.  The  evaluation also showed that the poor seemed to opt, in the
beginning,  for  activities  with   lowest  risk  and  that  they  graduated
subsequently  to more  profitable and  higher capital-intensive  activities.
The  project  has  had  strong  social  and  community  effects  through the
increased self-confidence  of the  beneficiaries and  their enhanced  social
standing in  the villages.  It also increased the volume of production in 82
per cent  of the groups  and improved  the quality  of production in  65 per
cent.    It aided  employment agencies  by increasing  the working  hours of
group members  by 66 per cent.   The increased  total household income  from
loan activities was 41 per cent.


B.  United Nations Common Agenda for Pakistan

66.  There has  been close collaboration between the agencies of the  United
Nations system operating in Pakistan at  the policy/strategy level.  This is
reflected in  the United Nations  Common Agenda for  Pakistan and  the draft
country strategy note (CSN) where commonly  agreed positions have been taken
on  a   set  of  social  and   economic  issues   revolving  around  poverty
eradication.   While  the  move towards  joint programming  is still  in the
early stages, some initiatives have been  taken to coordinate various  parts
of  the United Nations  system in Pakistan  around the  objective of poverty
eradication.

67.   A  United  Nations working  group  for  the  World Summit  for  Social

Development  was  established, which  provided a  forum  where the  agencies
could coordinate the
different  forms   of  assistance  being   provided  to  the   country-level
preparations.  This inter-agency group  is also  involved in  the support of
follow-up activities.
68.  A series  of coordination groups exist  both within the  United Nations
system and in the  wider donor community.   Subjects covered by such  groups
include  institutional  reforms,   population,  basic  education  and  rural
income/employment. These groups  meet regularly to exchange information  and
take collective action on different issues.   They have spearheaded  several
successful initiatives resulting in concrete changes or decisions.

69.   Three projects  were identified  in 1992  as pilots  for incorporating
Common Agenda themes.  This exercise stimulated inter-agency cooperation  at
the  project   level  and  resulted  in   a  more   integrated  approach  to
development.   By drawing  on the  respective areas of expertise  of a wider
group  of  United  Nations  agencies,  issues   of  importance  to   poverty
eradication such as income generation, family planning and female  literacy,
which  originally had  not been  addressed  through  the projects,  could be
added to their activities.  There are also examples of joint programming  in
smaller groups.   For  example, UNDP and  UNICEF have  jointly prepared  and
funded programmes  in the  water and sanitation  sector.  Through  the joint
efforts of  UNDP and UNICEF community  participation and  the involvement of
women were integrated within the ongoing projects.

70.  The United  Nations agencies collaborated to provide assistance to  the
Government of  Pakistan  in the  design  and  implementation of  the  social
action plan (SAP).  An Institutional  Development Task Force was established
to identify sectoral  problems and constraints inhibiting the realization of
the desired level of social sector  targets and objectives.   National-level
seminars  focusing  on  identifying  bottlenecks  and  policy  reforms  were
jointly  financed  by  the  United  Nations  agencies.    Several   agencies
participated  in  the  1995 United  Nations  Inter-Agency  Mission on  Basic
Education  and   endorsed  the   recommendations  to  integrate   non-formal
education, especially for girls, into the formal education system.

71.   The main  areas of focus  of the  joint programmes/activities  include
institutional  reforms, implementation  of the  SAP, empowerment  of  women,
basic  education and  support for  national preparations  for  international
initiatives.  United  Nations-system  coordination   structures  consist  of
regular meetings focused on development issues at  the head of agency level,
and a set  of United Nations  inter-agency working groups  dealing with  CSN
themes.   A jointly funded United  Nations Inter-Agency  Support Unit exists
to facilitate inter-agency programming and support the resident  coordinator
in the discharge of his  coordination role.  One problem has been that while
the existing  structures have  been effective  at the  strategy level,  they
have  been too broad based to address all  operational issues as effectively
as one would have hoped.

72.   The  country  programme includes  assistance to  the  SAP intended  to
improve social  service delivery and  improve human development  indicators.
The country programme also focuses on the  need for institutional change for
successful implementation of social sector programmes.   Information on  the
content of  the country programme  is shared with  the other United  Nations
organizations  through regular inter-agency  meetings.  However, there is no
systematic input by other United Nations  agencies in the implementation  of
the country  programme.  Joint monitoring  of programmes,  except under SAP,
is rare.   One  difficulty at  present is  that monitoring  systems tend  to
measure the  progress of the project  according to  planned indicators which
do not  necessarily indicate the impact  on poverty.  These indicators would
need to be developed  and refined further to  measure the effects on poverty
of a given  project.  The organizations of  the system could collaborate  in
such an exercise. 

C.  Sri Lanka

73.    Rapid  economic  growth  has  not  been equally  accessible  to  all,
particularly the  rural population.  It  is generally accepted  that about a
third  of  the  Sri  Lankan  population   is  "poor".    Mass-scale  poverty
alleviation was  given  a  top  priority in  Sri  Lanka  in 1989.    Poverty
alleviation was  mainstreamed and participatory  approaches were adopted  in
the  implementation  of  the development  programmes.   Since  1989, poverty
alleviation  has  continued  to   have  the  highest  priority  and  several
additional measures have been taken to  reduce, alleviate and cushion  those
who are affected by poverty.   A synopsis of these measures is given in  the
table below.


ANNUAL COST OF POVERTY-RELATED PROGRAMMES

                                                                       Cost
Programme                              No. beneficiaries              (SL Rs
million)

1.  Food stamps  1.5 million families3 100
  Kerosene  1.2450

2.  Janasaviya
  Round 1  189 0006 614
  Round 2  104 0003 640
  Round 3   98 0003 430
  Round 4  101 0003 515
  Round 5  120 0004 200

  Interest on capital
  Round 1  119 000357
  Round 2  104 000312

3.  School meals  4.3 million2 000

4.  School uniforms  4.3 million600

5.  Infant milk  100 000125

6.  Thriposha  600 000175

7.  Disabled  400 000150

8.  Emergency food  500 0002 000

(Excludes programme of Janasaviya Trust Fund and IRD programmes)
74.  Sri Lanka has had  poverty-alleviation programmes in the  public sector
and  in  the  NGO sector.   A  third series  of  interventions has  been the
numerous  integrated rural  development (IRD)  programmes.   While  there is
evidence that the incidence  and severity of poverty  have been reduced as a
result of the  above- mentioned measures,  there is still a  serious problem
of poverty and a need  to make the intervention  programmes more coordinated
and cost-effective.

75.  Despite the considerable efforts made so  far, certain crucial gaps  in
poverty-alleviation  efforts remain:   lack  of integration  between  social
mobilization  and  developmental inputs;  insufficient  integration  between
sectoral programmes;  inadequate  linkages  of NGO-based  mobilization  with
government services; almost exclusive focus on the poor  to the detriment of
holistic village development;  and insufficient support to skills  training,
enterprise development and marketing support.

76.   The main coordination  effort with regard  to poverty alleviation work
was  expected  to emerge  from  the  CSN  exercise.    This exercise,  which
commenced  in late  1993,  reached  a  stage  at  which  draft  papers  were
presented on  four themes, of which  poverty alleviation  and employment was
one.  This process was temporarily halted after  the change of Government in

the  middle of  1994.    The Government  has taken  steps to  reactivate the
process with a view to preparing a CSN for Sri Lanka by the end of 1995.

77.   In order  also to  bring about greater coordination  among the various
national  poverty  alleviation  programmes  and  as  a  first  step  towards
conceptualizing  a  programme approach  in  poverty  alleviation,  UNDP  has
developed  a small-scale  project to  carry out  a comparative  study of the
existing poverty alleviation programmes.  It is  also worth noting that both
the major UNDP-funded poverty alleviation projects  have been carried out in
partnership with two multilateral agencies, namely the World Bank and IFAD.

78.    Technical  assistance  to  the  Janasaviya  Trust Fund  (JTF).    The
Janasaviya Trust  Fund was created as  a pro-poor government  institute.  It
provides financial  and some technical support  to credit operations,  rural
works,  human resources  and  institutional development,  and  to  nutrition
intervention  activities of NGOs  and government  agencies.   The novelty of
JTF  is  that  it  is  designed  to  use  NGOs  as  intermediaries  (partner
organizations) to  deliver poverty alleviation services.   JTF manages  four
funds:  (i) a credit  fund; (ii) a human resource  development fund; (iii) a
rural works  fund; and (iv) a nutrition fund.  Special  emphasis is given to
the role and participation of women at the  programme level.  UNDP  provides
the technical  assistance component  of the  project which  is financed  by,
among others, the World Bank.

79.   The political  situation  has adversely  affected poverty  alleviation
efforts. The selection and fielding of  technical assistance have also  been
difficult as it  has not been  easy to  find the consultants needed  for the
envisaged tasks.  There are  several national  poverty alleviation  projects
which have not  been brought under one programme.  This is both wasteful and
causes unnecessary competition.

80.   Second  Badulla Integrated  Rural  Development  Project (SBIRDP).    A
project has been set  up to meet the  technical assistance needs  of SBIRDP,
to be  implemented with the assistance of IFAD funding the amount of SDR 9.9
million.  Beneficiaries  are the landless  and micro  holders.  The  project
envisages ambitious  participatory techniques.   Therefore, its progress  is
slow.  As is very common with most poverty alleviation initiatives,  finding
technical expertise,  both national and  international, has been  difficult.
The  project also  operates in  relative  isolation  and therefore  does not
benefit fully from useful  relevant work being done in other areas.  Poverty
alleviation, though  difficult, must  be programmed at  the national  level.
Such  programmes  should  take  into  account  the  inherent   institutional
problems  and  the  long   time-frames  necessary  for  development  of  the
necessary programmes, as well as difficulties  in the provision of technical
assistance.


D.  Philippines

81.   The Government  of the  Philippines has  set for  itself the  explicit
target of  reducing poverty incidence  from 40.7 per  cent (1991)  to 30 per
cent  in 1998. During  the period 1985 to 1991,  the incidence of poverty in
the Philippines was reduced minimally despite some growth.

82.   The United  Nations JCGP  Subgroup on Harmonization in  early 1992 had
initiated a  pilot effort  at concerted  action by  United Nations  agencies
(primarily UNDP,  UNICEF,  UNFPA and  IFAD/WFP)  to  combat poverty  in  six
countries, including  the Philippines.   At about the  same time  the United
Nations JCGP initiative  was launched, the Presidential Commission to  Fight
Poverty (PCFP) was created  by the President of  the Philippines as  a high-
level  oversight body to  coordinate all  government programmes and projects
on poverty.  The Commission demonstrated at the outset the need for and  the
possibility  of  adopting a  unified framework  as  a  basis for  drawing up
common priorities in the fight against poverty. 

83.  In  support of this  process, the  United Nations  agencies designed  a

three-pronged agenda:  (i)  to pilot test  a process-oriented approach in  a
joint  collaboration by  United Nations  agencies;  (ii)  to help  shape the
Government's strategy in addressing poverty; and (iii) to  act as a catalyst
for the establishment of an institutional  structure and the mechanisms that
would be dedicated to the  goal of poverty alleviation.  UNDP served as  the
convenor for the initiative.

84.    The joint  collaboration  reviewed  the  various  efforts at  poverty
alleviation  and assistance  to the  Government  in  the preparation  of the
overall  strategy  framework  for  concerted action  on  poverty  which  was
envisioned to  become an  integral part  of the  National Development  Plan.
The strategy framework or blueprint for  poverty alleviation was intended to
provide comprehensive  poverty  assessment/mapping, a  policy framework,  an
overall strategy, action programmes, resource requirements and  coordinating
monitoring  mechanisms.    The  preparation  involved  a  bottom-up  process
through  extensive consultations  with  NGOs and  grass-roots  organizations
from all parts of the country.

85.   The  outcome of  the  consultations  was  reflected in  the  strategic
framework document entitled  "A Strategy  to Fight Poverty" which  contained
an analysis  of the poverty  situation, addressing the  questions:  What  is
poverty  and how is it perceived  by the people?  Who are the poor and where
are  they to  be found?    What  are the  causes of  poverty?   How  has the
Government attempted to solve  the problem?  How  should the Filipinos  as a
people solve  it?   The document  proffers five  principal strategies  which
essentially call  for sustainable  economic growth  anchored on  appropriate
macroeconomic policies  and structural  adjustment, a focus  on the  minimum
basic needs (or human priorities) and capacity-building for the poor.

86.  The next step for PCFP was  to operationalize the strategy in  specific
areas, choosing 10 of the poorest provinces as priorities  for pilot testing
an  integrated  approach  with  the  JCGP  agencies.    Using  the bottom-up
approach,  workshops  with  the provincial  governments  in  the first  five
priority provinces  were conducted to evolve  their own  provincial plans of
action.   Consistent with the reiterative  learning approach,  the plans for
the next five provinces will subsequently  be prepared with modifications in
the approach based on the experience with the first set.

87.   The  JCGP agencies  are  currently  programming their  activities  and
inputs  in  the  pilot  areas  based  on  the  provincial plans  of  action.
Assistance to the Government is currently aimed  at the identification of  a
poverty-focused  policy  research agenda,  the  design  of  a  participatory
monitoring  and  evaluation  system   based  on  the  minimum  basic  needs,
capacity-building at the grass-roots and among  the local government  units,
advocacy  work  and  networking  with  people's  organizations,  and  direct
support to the grass-roots in meeting minimum basic needs.

88.   What has so far been the most challenging in the JCGP partnership with
the  Government  in this  collaboration  is  the  management  of the  change
process and the policy  dialogue.  What the emerging strategies call for  in
operational  terms are  significant changes  in  the  way programmes  of the
Government  are being managed.  A shift to  an area-based  and target group-
focused approach  calls for  a synchronized  programming  of programmes  and
projects.   Equally important  is the  need to  devolve the  decision-making
processes to  structures working closest to the grass-roots in order to have
a truly participatory or "people empowering" development.

89.  It  is hoped that the emerging issues  could be addressed in the  joint
Government-JCGP  dialogue mechanism.    Regular exchange  at  the  technical
working group  between PCFP and  the JCGP agencies has served  as a means to
involve JCGP in analysing the broad  institutional changes necessary to work
out the  process  of change  and  to  overcome bottlenecks  in  implementing
participatory development approaches.   It has also  enabled JCGP to  have a
substantive input  in the  design of  process interventions  in an  advisory
capacity.   At the policy level,  the dialogue and support of the JCGP group
serves as  moral support  and impetus for  a continuing advocacy  and change

within the  Government  for pro-poor  policies  and  a continuing  focus  on
reversing poverty.   The  same mechanism  has allowed  the JCGP  agencies to
identify  operational   bottlenecks  to   harmonization  of   the  agencies'
programming of assistance in common areas of interventions.


 E.  Zimbabwe

90.   Following the introduction of  an orthodox  economic stabilization and
adjustment  policy package in  the early  1990s, the  Government of Zimbabwe
recognized that  adjustment alone was  insufficient to put the  country on a
sustained, poverty-reducing growth path, and that  there was an urgent  need
for poverty-sensitive  macroeconomic policies and  development programmes to
tackle mounting poverty.  Building on the experience  of the 1991/92 drought
and the  Social Dimensions of  Adjustment policies, the Government requested
UNDP  technical assistance  to design  a comprehensive  poverty  alleviation
action  plan (PAAP).    The  PAAP, endorsed  by  the donor  community  at  a
Consultative Group meeting in December 1993, seeks to reverse  deteriorating
social conditions  by broadening the overall  scope, coverage  and impact of
targeted social programmes,  giving special emphasis to employment  creation
and self-reliance activities. Its main  components are:   (i) implementation
of   community-based   activities    in   social   welfare   provision   and
infrastructure   rehabilitation   through  labour-intensive   public   works
programmes; (ii)  implementation of  sustainable  livelihood initiatives  in
selected  disadvantaged  areas, focusing  on  women,  youth  and  vulnerable
groups; (iii)  direct support  to the  informal  sector and  microenterprise
development    initiatives;   (iv)   capacity-building   and   institutional
development to  improve the  delivery of  social safety  nets, with  special
emphasis on food security, education and primary health care.

91.  PAAP  will strengthen the  capacity of government  agencies for  social
policy analysis so as to develop long-term poverty-sensitive  socio-economic
policies and monitor their impact on poverty.   In addition to UNDP, UNICEF,
ILO,  ADB  and the  Government  of  the  Netherlands,  the Danish,  British,
Norwegian  and Canadian aid  agencies have  already committed  resources for
implementation of Zimbabwe's PAAP.


F.  Malawi

92.   In spite of a  remarkable economic performance,  Malawi has lagged  in
terms  of social  indicators.   In an  effort to  address  this "development
paradox", a joint  Government/United Nations "Situation Analysis of  Poverty
in Malawi"  was produced in 1993  and adopted by the  Government as a  basis
for  attacking poverty  in the  country.   The  report  was the  first major
attempt  to  document key  poverty  factors  in  Malawi.   It  revealed that
poverty in Malawi is  significant and widespread, affecting  60 per cent  of
rural and 65 per cent of the  urban population.  The most  vulnerable groups
include smallholders  with less  than one  hectare of  land holding,  casual
labourers,  estate workers  and tenants,  female-headed households  and  the
urban  poor.   The key  poverty  factors were  identified as  comprising low
agricultural productivity, low  non-farm income, poor education and  health,
rapid  population   growth  and  weak   institutional  structures.     These
underlying poverty  factors  were found  to  be  closely intertwined.    The
report, which was endorsed at the  December 1993 Consultative Group  meeting
of donors, also highlighted  a number of critical dimensions that cut across
all  sectors and  have important  implications  for poverty  reduction. They
include  widespread institutional  weaknesses  in  administrative structures
and  delivery  systems,  as  well  as  the  limited  capacity  of government
agencies   and   social   organizations   to   support   decentralized   and
participatory development approaches.   Based on these  findings, the report
recommended  that human development  strategies in  Malawi go  beyond price-
oriented  reforms and  focus more  on  existing structural  constraints  and
institutional weaknesses  in the design  and implementation of  anti-poverty
programmes.

93.  Following the  publication of the report,  a national workshop was held
in  March  1994 to  initiate  a  process  of  collaborative programming  for
poverty reduction.  The workshop, organized by the  Ministry of Finance with
the support of  UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA, is  having a major  influence on the
policy  agenda  of  the  newly  elected  Government.    A  national steering
committee  has   been  created  and  charged  with  the  responsibility  for
providing  overall  guidance  and  direction  to  a  national   anti-poverty
programme.   The Government  has also  created the  Presidential Council  on
Poverty  Alleviation, which is  overseeing the  work of  10 sectoral working
groups and 24 district-level exercises on  poverty reduction. UNDP and other
donors, in  particular UNICEF  and the  World Bank, are  now discussing  the
modalities for supporting the Government  in the design,  implementation and
monitoring  of the  national poverty-reduction  programme.   A  UNDP project
will  provide assistance to  the steering  committee for  the production and
publication of  an annual poverty  situation report, on  the basis of  which
more  precise targeting mechanisms will be developed.  The project will also
produce disaggregated  district-level data for  use in development  planning
and dialogue  with communities,  and support policy  and programme  analysis
for the design of a national action plan for poverty elimination.


G.  Comprehensive poverty reduction programme in Jamaica

94.   The Government  of Jamaica  attaches the  highest priority  to poverty
reduction.  The organizations  of the system have  also emphasized the  need
to  prepare poverty-alleviation programmes.   UNDP  started, some  two years
ago, a process  of formulating a comprehensive poverty-reduction  programme,
including  the  preparation of  a  poverty  map  for  Jamaica, and  bringing
together a broad range of  United Nations agencies to address related issues
in an integrated and coordinated manner.  The  programme is to be  finalized
in  the  light  of  a  policy  strategy  paper  under   preparation  by  the
Government.

95.   The main  problems that  have slowed the development  of a coordinated
poverty eradication programme are the need  for capacity-building within the
relevant government institutions, and the need to further strengthen  field-
level coordination of the United Nations organizations in this area.


V.  CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

96.   The brief overview of the policies, strategies  and programmes pursued
by the United Nations organizations at the country level and the  experience
of poverty-eradication programmes  in the case  studies presented  show that
the  need  for   a  multisectoral  and  multidimensional  approach  to   the
eradication of poverty is well recognized by all.   It is also clear  that a
multiplicity of actors have to be  involved in a country's poverty-reduction
strategy.   This makes coordination  all the more  necessary.  The  national
level of  implementation  and coordination  is  of  key importance  for  the
overall  effectiveness  of  the  struggle  against  poverty.    The  primary
responsibility  for  coordination  belongs to  the Government.    The United
Nations  system can, however,  assist in  strengthening the  capacity of the
Government for such coordination.

97.  A number  of coordination mechanisms  are in place for both  horizontal
coordination within the system at the  country level and vertically  between
the  United  Nations agencies  and  the  relevant government  ministries and
departments. As  part of the process  of implementation  of General Assembly
resolution 47/199,  the resident coordinator  system is being  strengthened,
the programme approach is being increasingly  adopted by the United  Nations
agencies  and country  strategy  notes  are being  formulated in  interested
developing countries.   Many countries have established interministerial  or
interdepartmental   committees   or   economic  coordination   and  planning
ministries.  Similarly, field coordination committees  have been set up  or,
at  a minimum, regular  inter-agency meetings  are convened  by the resident
coordinators  in  most countries.    Thematic  groups, including  on poverty

eradication, are also being  used to coordinate  action at the national  and
local levels. 

98.   Clearly,  any  measures  designed  to  strengthen  these  coordination
mechanisms  and to  promote  greater  coherence and  integration  among  the
various  sectoral interventions  of the  system  at  the country  level will
enable the system to  address better the  challenge of poverty.  The  policy
recommendations contained  in the  report of  the  Secretary-General on  the
comprehensive policy  review of operational  activities for development  and
the guidance  emanating from its consideration  by the  General Assembly are
therefore of direct relevance to the system's work in this area.   Likewise,
equally relevant will be  the outcome of the Assembly's deliberations on the
follow-up  to  the  World  Summit  for   Social  Development.    But,   more
specifically, what  is needed is  to make use  of the  existing coordinating
instruments to  formulate, in  accordance with the framework  articulated by
the  Summit and in  close consultation with the  Government, and taking into
account  the  specific needs  and  situations  of  each  country, clear  and
coherent  poverty-eradication  strategies with  specific  goals and  targets
which would  be integrated into the  overall national  plans and programmes.
The  resident coordinator system could  clearly be used in  assisting in the
formulation of such strategies in ensuring  coordinated inputs by the United
Nations agencies in their implementation, evaluation and monitoring.

99.  The steps  that need to be taken  to organize a well-coordinated attack
on poverty  are also  well understood.   It  is vitally  important that  the
Government demonstrate a  firm commitment, at  the highest  political level,
to the goal of poverty eradication  and be willing and able  to mobilize and
allocate  the  required domestic  financial  and  human resources  for  that
purpose.  Equally  vital is the  will and the capacity of  the Government to
take  the lead  in organizing  a coordinated  response  to the  challenge of
poverty.  The strategy  to be pursued has to be based on growth with equity,
full  participation  of  all actors  in  development,  including  the  civil
society,  non-governmental and  community-based organizations  and  the poor
themselves, and should involve  a decentralized approach  in which decisions
and  resources  allocations can  be  made  at  the local  level  taking into
account the specific conditions and needs of the target groups or areas.

 100.   The United  Nations agencies  can and  must play  an advocacy  role,
provide financial and  technical assistance  and help  develop coherent  and
complementary poverty-eradication programmes.  To this end,  it is essential
that  United Nations agencies  work together to  help build  the capacity of
the   Government   to   carry   out   its   leadership   and    coordinating
responsibilities.    United  Nations  agencies  must  also  make  determined
efforts to  simplify, rationalize  and harmonize  their programming  methods
and  administrative  and financial  rules  and  procedures  and,  as far  as
possible, to harmonize their programming cycles,  so that the impact  of the
limited resources, technical  assistance and  other inputs provided by  them
can be optimized.

101.   The effort  at coordination  should not be  confined to the  level of
broad  policy or strategy  formulation but  should aim  at achieving greater
compatibility and closer  integration of programming approaches and  project
formulation  by such methods  as developing  common definitions  of poverty,
working  together   on   poverty   indicators,   common   data   collection,
identification  of target groups and areas and shared assessment, evaluation
and monitoring of results and impact.  Wherever possible and feasible, joint
programming could be pursued.

102.   It must  be  recognized, however,  that so  long  as  there are  line
ministries  on  the one  hand and  United  Nations agencies  with a  sector-
specific mandate on  the other, there is a great potential for fragmentation
in decision-making,  as United Nations  system-Government dialogue tends  to
become  compartmentalized  and  handled  on  a  one-to-one  basis  by   each
specialized agency with the  concerned ministry.   This need not be so,  but
the risk is there and fragmentation has often tended to diffuse efforts  and
dilute the  overall impact.  As  individual United Nations agencies start to

address their  own mandates  from  a broader  perspective, instead  of in  a
narrow, sector-specific way,  and as  coordinated follow-up to major  United
Nations  conferences is developed  at the  country level,  there is  a great
opportunity and a better likelihood that  fragmentation will decrease.   But
there  is still a  long way  to go.   The strengthening  of the  role of the
Resident Coordinator and the adoption of  the programme approach can greatly
enhance  coordination and integration  of United  Nations system (and donor)
inputs   by  placing   emphasis  on   intersectoral  linkages   and   multi-
institutional actions in support of country priorities.

103.  A key  question in this regard is  the relationship between the United
Nations, its funds and  programmes and the  specialized agencies on the  one
hand, and  the Bretton  Woods institutions  on the  other.  If  economic and
social  policy making  remain disjointed,  coordination  - both  policy  and
operational  - will  be difficult  no matter  how much  the United  Nations-
system agencies come together under a  common programming framework.   There
needs  to be close  cooperation between  the Bretton  Woods institutions and
the rest of the system.   An integrated poverty agenda can be moved  forward
if the Bretton Woods institutions  and the rest  of the system can not  only
develop common  approaches, definitions,  poverty-assessment indicators  and
data  collection but  can  also  work  towards greater  complementarity  and
integration between  economic and social  policies, including through  their
policy framework papers (PFP) and the CSN.

104.   The  critical  question of  resources  in  meeting  the challenge  of
poverty eradication  cannot,  however, be  overemphasized.    Even the  best
formulated strategies and  well-coordinated programmes have to be backed  up
with  the  required  resources  for  them  to  be  implemented  effectively.
Determined efforts  need  to be  made,  at  the national  and  international
levels, for the mobilization and reallocation  of resources towards the goal
of poverty eradication.   In this regard, the commitments and goals of major
international  conferences,  in  particular  the  World  Summit  for  Social
Development, should be fully adhered to and implemented by all countries.


Notes

  1/    Report  of  the  United   Nations  Conference  on  Environment   and
Development, Rio de  Janeiro, 3-14  June 1992  (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol.  I
and Vol. I/Corr.1, Vol. II,  Vol. III and Vol.  III/Corr.1)) (United Nations
publication,  Sales No.  E.93.I.8  and  corrigenda), vol.  I:    Resolutions
Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex I, principle 5.

  2/  Ibid., annex II, para. 3.4 and following.

  3/  Ibid., annex II, para. 3.5.

  4/  Ibid., annex I, principle 5.

  5/  Ibid., annex II, para. 3.10 (c).

  6/  Ibid., annex II, para. 3.10 (e).

  7/  Report of the International  Conference on Population and Development,
(Cairo,  5-13  September 1994)  (A/CONF.171/13  and  Add.1),  resolution  I,
annex, chap. III, para. 3.14.

  8/  Ibid., chap. II, principle 7.

  9/  Ibid., chap. II, principle 3.

  10/  Ibid., chap. II, principle 2.

  11/  Ibid., chap. III, para. 3.22.

  12/  Ibid., chap. XIII, para. 13.23.

  13/  See A/CONF.177/L.1, para. 46.

  14/  Ibid., Strategic objective A.1, para. 60.

  15/   Report of the  World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 6-12
March 1995) (A/CONF.166/9), resolution I, annex I, para. 29, commitment 10.

  16/   The  Work of  the  United  Nations  System in  Poverty  Alleviation:
report of the CCPOQ Working Group on Poverty (ACC/1995/POQ/CRP.19, annex).

  17/  Ibid.
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Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
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