15 - 16 November 2006, United Nations, New York



13:30-14:45 Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium

Moderator: Mr. Roberto Bissio, Executive Director, Third World Institute; Coordinator, Social Watch
Ms. Solveig Buhl, GTZ
Ms. Cecile Reinhart, ATD 4th World; Co-founder, Croisement de Savoirs
Ms. Tracy Dolan, Christian Children's Fund

Session organized by GTZ, NGO sub-committee for poverty eradication

Good practices for ensuring a genuine involvement of relevant stakeholders in efforts to combat poverty will be examined during this special event. The three speakers will examine this issue by highlighting three examples of good practices: the inclusion of children living in poverty in community development efforts, an initiative that builds partnerships between people living in poverty and academics and professionals in the field of poverty eradication, and an initiative which aims to develop a harmonised approach to ex ante Poverty Impact Assessment (PIA).

Speaker 1: Tracy Dolan, Christian Children’s Fund

There are currently 1 billion children living in poverty around the world, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.[1]  It is estimated that of these children, 674 million are living in absolute poverty.[2]   Because children are dependant on adults for their survival, they are especially vulnerable to the effects of poverty.[3]  Research conducted by Christian Children’s Fund (CCF) has found that children are more sensitive to and affected by poverty than is generally appreciated or understood by adults.  Children feel the effects of poverty in terms of the lack of basic goods and services, as well as its associated divisiveness, stigma, and humiliation.[4]  Thus, when trying to address child poverty, it is important to tackle the problem holistically, and to include children in efforts and programs to combat poverty.In order to improve the lives of the poor, achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and afford all children with the rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children should play a meaningful role in poverty eradication efforts.  This includes ensuring that children are engaged in the planning, implementation, and review of development programs, so that they can have a voice on how such efforts are affecting their communities.  Children are stakeholders, and should be included as such in programs and poverty eradication efforts that affect them.  Ms. Dolan will provide an overview of examples and experiences in selected countries where CCF works, where children are contributing to CCF-led program planning, implementation, and review processes.

Speaker 2: Cecile Reinhart, International Movement ATD Fourth World

Ms. Reinhart is a key member of the anti-poverty project entitled “Croisement de Savoir” (Crossroads of Knowledge.) This program was developed in partnership with academics (professors and researchers) of various disciplines (rights, economics, sociology, history, psychology, education...), of professionals from various fields (education, justice, youth, social work, health, vocational training, housing, culture...) elected by their institutions and with people who have direct experience of poverty. This knowledge is exchanged with the understanding that people living in poverty have much to contribute to the discourse, as equal partners.

Thanks to a climate of trust, conditions were created to enable this previously ignored and invisible knowledge to be shared and analyzed within the group. There was a genuine exchange and dialogue between the actors as equal participants, which, when pooled together, stimulated new ideas and thinking. Two publications, “Le Croisement des Savoirs” and “Le Croisement des Pratiques” detail the results of this innovative approach.

From this initiative, many others where developed in France and internationally, whereby people living in poverty are able to participate in the training of others from different backgrounds. These initiatives recognize those with experience of living in poverty as experts in their field, and they participate in the training of social workers, student teachers, humanitarian workers, and others in social and cultural fields.

Speaker 3: Solveig Buhl, GTZ

In order to reach the MDGs, donor organisations and their partners have been striving to understand and maximise the poverty reducing impacts of their policies, programs and projects. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of March 2005 stresses that partner countries and donors are mutually accountable for development results and that in order to reduce the burden on partner countries, donors need to harmonise their approaches.

For this reason, in 2005, the DAC OECD Poverty Network (POVNET) formed a Task Team to develop a harmonised approach to ex ante Poverty Impact Assessment (PIA). The approach has been approved by DAC in March 2006.[5] A User’s Guide will be submitted to POVNET for approval in November 2006.

PIA integrates already established approaches, their terminology and procedures (in particular ADB work on poverty impact, the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA), the OECD/DAC capabilities framework). PIA consists of five modules. The results of the assessments within the modules are each visualized using matrices. This allows the possibility of sharing ex ante PIA exercises based on a common format across a number of agencies.

The wide application of the harmonised PIA provides a basis for future joint assessments with partner governments and between donors. PIA offers clear recommendations for decision makers on how to improve interventions to increase pro-poor impacts.


[1] UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 2005: Childhood Under Threat; New York, 2004; 10. 
[2] D. Gordon, S. Nandy, C. Pantazis, S. Pemberton, and P. Townsend. Child Poverty in the Developing World; October 2003; 10.
[3] Plan, Ending Child Poverty & Securing Child Rights: The Role of Social Protection; October 2005; 3-4.
[4] Christian Children’s Fund, Understanding Children’s Experience of Poverty: An Introduction to the DEV Framework, 2005; 11.
[5] OECD/DAC 2005 Harmonizing Ex Ante Poverty Impact Assessment DCD/DAC (2006)24