STEP UP's vision is to foster a significant increase in practitioners' capacities to assist large numbers of the ultra poor to move out of extreme poverty.
Luckshmi Sivalingam works in DAI’s Economic Growth sector, where she focuses on inclusive economic growth, access to finance, and pro-poor agriculture value chain development. She also currently manages DAI’s agriculture and health linkages practice. She was recently named 2012 Practitioner of the Year by SEEP for her leadership and valuable contributions within STEP-UP and other learning initiatives.
Please join SEEP’s Market Facilitation (MaFI) Working Group and Strengthening the Economic Potential of the Ultra Poor (STEP UP) Initiative for a series of webinars on the recently launched “Integrating Very Poor Producers Into Value Chains Field Guide.” The first two webinars were held in November 2012 and February 2013 and the recordings can be found below:
- Webinar 1: Key considerations for integrating the very poor into value chains
- Webinar 2: Innovative strategies for facilitating vertical linkages with very poor producers
The third and final webinar will be held on May 23, 2013 at 9 AM EDT. For more information including how to join, please click here.
Emerging Learning Agenda
Building on significant recent knowledge gains and needs and interests expressed by POWG/STEP UP members over the past three years, STEP UP’s learning agenda will pursue several overarching goals:
1) To better use a range of household poverty/vulnerability profiling tools to design, sequence and evaluate products and interventions that match the diverse needs and circumstances of the ultra poor.
2) To increase the flexibility, reliability and affordability of a full suite of financial services for the ultra poor, recognizing that they will initially have a greater need to use them to manage and reduce expenses than to increase incomes.
3) To integrate human services such as health education, financial capability training and agricultural extension with the delivery of financial services and vice-versa.
4) To implement a more systematic approach to addressing multiple poverty dimensions through active coordination of the efforts of an array of financial and non-financial (human) service providers, including government, the private sector and NGOs.
5) To develop processes and principles (related to assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation) that can be applied and adapted by multiple development agents to different contexts and in response to specific household poverty conditions.
6) To integrate academic research, monitoring, evaluation and learning across different approaches, in order to better understand their distinctive contributions to poverty alleviation.
It is important to note that successfully addressing each of these goals requires active coordination and partnerships among various stakeholder groups ̶a central tenet of STEP UP’s approach. For example, achieving the first goal– better understanding the needs of the ultra poor – requires improved practitioner approaches to assess needs and include those stated by the ultra poor themselves, an understanding of the policy environment that promotes or hinders meeting these needs, and research to find commonalities that will allow successful strategies to be replicated.