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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

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.

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