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Poverty and Social Impact Assessment: The Case of Popular Participation

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Title: Poverty and Social Impact Assessment: The Case of Popular Participation


1
Poverty and Social Impact Assessment The Case of
Popular Participation
  • By
  • M. Adil Khan
  • UN-DESA

2
Discussion Framework
  • Some definitional Issues
  • The Backdrop of Participatory Methods
  • Insights from country practices
  • Lessons learnt

3
Definitional Issues and their Substantive
Implications
  • Definitions have implications on what to
    measure/assess and how, when etc. to measure
  • As poverty is often defined from a variety of
    perspectives, it is inevitable that their
    measurements/assessments etc. entail more than
    one methodology some quantitative, some
    qualitative, some passive, some participatory.
  • Social Impact Assessment also implies two
    important
  • methodological connotations that both the
    content of the impact as well as the methodology
    of measuring the impact must be social in nature.

4
Backdrop of participatory methods
  • Multi-dimensional perspectives of poverty
    indicate that not everything can be measured
    quantitatively and passively.
  • Assessment of certain aspects of poverty such as
    accessibility, non-income issues of poverty
    including the assessment of political dimensions
    of poverty, social vulnerability etc. require
    application of participatory methods.
  • Community-based poverty monitoring efforts help
    in understanding poverty reduction processes
    better, especially the macro-micro linkages.
  • An appropriately structured PSIA and planning
    linkage has the capacity to empower poor and
    induce pro-poor policy change.

5
Insights from Country Practices
  • Philippines participatory poverty monitoring by
    the SWS reveal that poor regard equally, if not
    more the non-income elements as the sources of
    poverty
  • In 1993 by following both quantitative as well as
    participatory methods, Bangladesh produced two
    different HDRs, revealing information not
    captured through the former method but were
    crucial to understand causes of poverty in the
    country.
  • In India, sub-national HDRs (some up to district
    level) produced through intense participatory
    processes are increasingly becoming powerful
    tools of planning and political accountability in
    poverty reduction.
  • In Myanmar, UNDPs multi-stage poverty
    assessment, community -based programme planning,
    implementation and monitoring are making useful
    contributions in tackling the problems of poverty
    in the poorest of the poor villages in that
    country.

6
Lessons Learnt
  • Participatory methods help deepening the
    understanding of both the causes of poverty as
    well as the impacts of policies and programmes on
    poverty.
  • Participatory poverty monitoring becomes more
    effective and accountable when indicators, at
    least some of them are defined by the poor
    themselves.
  • Participatory methods are no substitute to
    statistically-based methods, rather one
    complements the other, but the required synergy
    is missing.
  • Participatory methods must be sustained and
    followed through with programme feedback to
    encourage continuous participation in the
    process.
  • The role of the civil society organizations and
    NGOs in supplanting poverty monitoring through
    participatory data require proper recognition.

7
THANK YOU!
  • M. Adil Khan
  • Chief
  • Socio-economic Governance and Management Branch
  • UN-DESA
  • E-mail khan4_at_un.org
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