Pro-poor growth – economic growth that enhances the ability of poor women and men to participate in, contribute to and benefit from growth – is essential for sustainable poverty reduction.
In 2007 the OECD DAC Network on Poverty Reduction (POVNET) issued new policy guidance for donors on pro-poor growth. In collaboration with Train4Dev, a joint donor training network, POVNET contracted the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Itad to design and deliver a joint learning programme on pro-poor growth that would identify in a specific country setting what sorts of public policy and investment would better contribute to achieving pro-poor growth.
We were contracted to deliver a pilot learning event in Marseille, followed by learning events in Tanzania and Nepal. Targeted at senior donor staff, government representatives and professionals from the private sector and civil society, the learning events were based on core modules on common priority policy areas but with space to adapt events to the specific situations of individual countries. To ensure that debates tackled the real issues and key constraints, a mix of case study material, practical analytical exercises and resource persons was used.
The Tanzania learning event occurred as studies were being commissioned to assess progress and achievements under the first poverty reduction strategy, Mkukuta, and at a time when it was apparent that Tanzania’s impressive economic growth rate had not translated into poverty reduction. Workshop conclusions included an acknowledgement of the enclaved nature of Tanzania’s growth in just a few sectors and recognition of the importance of more integrated treatment of the Mkukuta pillars of poverty reduction and economic growth. The Nepal learning event focused in particular on the pro poor growth challenges of agricultural development and on the rural-urban interface. Participants recognised that government policies had not previously been analysed through a pro poor growth lens and they recommended that a pro poor growth policy review should be undertaken by government in partnership with other key national stakeholders.Image © Children