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SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS THROUGH LEGAL EMPOWERMENT : a systems opportunity

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Title: SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS THROUGH LEGAL EMPOWERMENT : a systems opportunity


1
SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS THROUGH LEGAL EMPOWERMENT
a systems opportunity
  • By Naresh C Singh , Executive Director, High
    Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the
    Poor
  • PRESENTATION TO THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
  • June 04, 2006.

2
Development Co-operation a Historical
Perspective
  • The international decades economic growth,
    social development, socio-economic, human
    development, basic needs, endogenous development,
    sustainable development, sustainable human
    development, sustainable livelihoods
  • Development Enterprise promised much more than it
    delivered
  • The search continued through the world
    conferences of the 1990s Education, Human
    Rights, Children, SD, Women, Population, Soc.D

3
People in development
  • For the people
  • Of the people
  • By the people
  • With the people
  • Bringing sustainability and people together SHD
    SL
  • Entering an inescapable complex systems domain
    but remaining essentially linear, and
    deterministic

4
Ideas behind SL-ESH
  • LIVELIHOODS jobs, assets, entitlements
  • SUSTAINABILITY (ESH) ecological integrity,
    social equity, (including gender equality)
    economic effectiveness, resilience, (adaptive
    strategies), multi-scale interactions,
    (macro-micro linkages)

5
Using these ideas Added Value
  • Programming framework of UNDP 1996
  • Analytical framework of DFID 1997
  • Integrative concept of livelihoods vs jobs,
    assets vs needs and the basis of selfempowerment
  • Demanded iterative cross- sectoral approach, as
    well macro-micro linkages
  • Participatory assets approach at community level
    and complex policy analysis

6
Challenges and Limitations
  • Institutional Realities
  • Capacity limitations
  • Communicating change systems thinking
  • Articulating a credible theory of change
  • Lack of incentives to change
  • Community types loved it , policy types (mainly
    economists found no value) only protagonists saw
    the link

7
Failures and Successes
  • At both UNDP and DFID, failure to communicate the
    macro-policy micro-activity link, or make it
    operational
  • Challenge of institutional partnership (ownership
    at the country level)
  • Challenge to the orthodoxy based on needs
  • Success Reinforced participatory approaches,
    Raised interest in assets, Stimulated debates on
    other aspects

8
Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Attempt to forge explicit links between natural
    resources, agriculture and rural development and
    the livelihoods of the poor
  • Resistance from the established specialists and
    their institutions
  • Failure of small farmer productivity model
  • Failure of integrated rural development
  • Weak farm, non- farm and external links
  • Fears of the agricultural researchers

9
The Legal Empowerment Approach
  • Assets of the Poor and Dead Capital
  • Making dead capital alive through
  • an inclusive legal system leading to convergence
    between formal and informal (legal and
    extra-legal)
  • property rights
  • labor rights
  • expanding legal business opportunity

10
Challenges
  • A legal and institutional reform agenda
  • Selfempowerment agenda poor might not have
    courage to take power ( demand side failure)
  • Range of other binding constraints
    international trade and markets access,
    corruption, conflict, debt, health, education
    etc..on which continuing action is required
  • Communication

11
Relevance of Systems Thinking
  • Both legal and extra-legal sectors are complex
    adaptive systems consisting of
  • multiple actors and groups of actors with
    different rules and systems of rules
  • many feedback loops with increasing and
    decreasing returns to investment
  • sites of self-organization
  • high levels of uncertainty and surprise

12
Implications of Systems Thinking
  • WORK WITH
  • Systems of processes for efficiency
  • Systems of structures for directional change and
    effectiveness
  • Systems of culture and meaning for building
    consensus
  • Systems of knowledge and power to build
    inclusivity, equity and convergence

13
So whats different now?
  • HIGH LEVEL COMMISSION ON LEGAL EMPOWERMENT OF
    THE POOR
  • Wealth or value is created by culture and by
    society it is culture that makes a diamond
    valuable and a pebble worthless.
  • Property, on the other hand is the creation of
    law. A man who has property has certain legal
    rights with respect to an item of wealth,
    property represents a relationship between wealth
    and its owner .. Charles Rich.

14
The HLCLEP has a unique mandate
The HLCLEP is a global, independent initiative
that seeks to explore how nations can reduce
poverty through reforms that make legal
protection and economic opportunity not the
privilege of the few, but the right of all
citizens.
TOP DOWN A Membership of Global Policymakers
BOTTOM UP A Broad-based Network for Civic
Engagement NON-PARTISAN A Pragmatic
Approach to Poverty Reduction PRO-ACTIVE A
Commitment to Generating Global Momentum
15
HLCLEP Goals and Impact
  • The Commission seeks to enhance legal
    empowerment of the poor by addressing
  • How to make property rights (including land
    rights) work for the poor?
  • How to expand legal business opportunity
    including increased access to finance for poverty
    reduction?
  • Make labor rights more effective in reducing
    poverty
  • How to make access to justice contribute to
    greater livelihood security for the poor?
  • As a result of the Commissions work
  • New approaches and tools will be developed from
    consolidating global experience
  • International institutions will be prepared to
    support new reform efforts
  • Policy makers will be pursuing ambitious reforms
    in a number of countries

16
As the informal economy expands, there is a
demand for a consensus-based approach to
empowering the poor to improve their own
livelihoods
17
HLCLEP Co-Chairs Madeleine Albright and Hernando
DeSoto
Most of the world's poor possess assets of some
kind, but they are unable to benefit from the
economic system because they lack legal means to
protect and leverage their assets. We need to
replicate successful practices that allow
individuals to participate in legitimate economic
systems and to improve their lives." -
Hernando de Soto, January 2006
This is a wholly different approach to the
poverty debate. While many worthy initiatives
are underway to fight global poverty, our
Commission will focus on a unique and overlooked
aspect of the problem the inextricable link
between pervasive poverty and the absence of
legal protections for the poor. - Madeleine
Albright, September 2005
18
HLCLEP Commissioners
Fazle Hasan Abed Founder and Co-Chairperson,
BRAC Soledad Alvear Former Minister of Foreign
Affairs for Chile Lloyd Axworthy Former Minister
of Foreign Affairs for Canada Leszek Balcerowicz
President of the Polish National Bank Lahkdar
Brahimi Special Representative to the Secretary
General Gordon Brown Chancellor of the
Exchequer, United Kingdom Fernando Cardoso
Former President of Brazil Shirin Ebadi Nobel
Peace Prize Laureate, Iran Ashraf Ghani Dean of
Kabul University and former Minister of Finance
for Afghanistan Prince EL- Hassan bin
Talal Prince of Jordan Muhammad Medhat Hassanein
Former Minister of Finance for Egypt Hilde
Frafjord Johnson Former Minister of
International Development, Norway Anthony Kennedy
Associate Justice, US Supreme Court of
Justice Allan Larsson Former Minister of
Finance for Sweden Benjamin Mkapa Former
President of the United Republic of Tanzania Mike
Moore Former Prime Minister of New Zealand,
former Director General of the WTO Milinda
Moragoda Former Minister for Economic Reform,
Science and Technology, Sri Lanka Syed Tanwir H.
Naqvi Former Chairman of the National
Reconstruction Bureau of Pakistan Mary Robinson
Former President of Ireland and former High
Commissioner of Human Rights Arjun Sengupta
Chairman - National Commission for Enterprises
in the Unorganized Sector of India Lindiwe
Nonceba Sisulu Minister of Housing, Republic of
South Africa Lawrence Summers Former Secretary
of the Treasury for the United States Pansak
Vinyaratn Chief Policy Advisor to the Prime
Minister of Thailand Erna Witeolar UN Special
Ambassador for MDGs in Asia and the Pacific
Ernesto Zedillo Former President of Mexico
19
  • To ensure that the HLCLEP is well-balanced,
    informed, and effective, it will rely on a
    broad-based, global network of institutional and
    grass roots support

HLCLEP Advisory Board Current Membership
Robert Annibale Global Director of
Microfinance, CitigroupLuis Alberto Moreno
President, Inter-American Development BankKumi
Naidoo CEO, CIVICUSSheela Patel Founder,
Society for the Promotion of Area Resources
Juan Somavia Director, International Labor
OrganizationAnna Tibaijuka Executive Director,
UN HABITATJohn Watson President, CARE
CanadaPaul Wolfowitz President, World
BankFrancisco Garza Zambrano President, Cemex
North America
The Commission is currently expanding its Board
of Advisors and alliances to include more
representatives from civil society,
multilaterals, and the private sector
20
Commission Structure and Governance
21
Legal Empowerment An Operational Framework
Rule of Law Access to Justice Civic Engagement
LEGAL EMPOWERMENT OF THE POOR
  • Labor Formalization
  • Simplification of Business Regulation
  • Access to Finance
  • Fungible Property Rights
  • Secure Urban and Rural Land Rights

22
Special Considerations
  • Gender Equality
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Indigenous Peoples

23
HLCLEP Structured for Impact
  • Working Groups
  • Access to Justice and Rule of Law
  • Property Rights
  • Labor Rights and Laws
  • Business opportunities and Access to Finance
  • Tool Kit (including Indices)

24
Planned Regional Consultations
Ukraine (Europe)
India (South Asia)
Mexico (Mexico and Central America)
Ethiopia (East Africa)
TBD (West Africa)
Indonesia (East Asia)
Brazil (South America)
25
Regional Consultation Update
Objective Establish impartial forum where the
historical experience of initiatives targeting
the informal economy in the region can be
examined and lessons can be drawn for future
reform initiatives
South America

Mexico and Central America
East Africa
West Africa
South Asia
East Asia
Europe
26
CONCLUSION
  • The most fundamental question is not what
    decision to make but who is to make itthrough
    what processes and under what incentives and
    constraints, and most importantly, with what
    feedback measures to correct the decision. The
    incentives in a government structure typically
    insulate it from effective feedback and start off
    a vicious cycle of negative impact.
  • In a world of scattered knowledge, with different
    problems and differing priorities, systems which
    capture the essence of these complexities bode
    well for the individual and society as they give
    them the freedom to put scarce resources to their
    most appropiate economic use and to swiftly
    correct errors in decision Shah and Mandava
    (2005)
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