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Economic Strengthening for the Very Poor (ES4VP)

ES4VP Framework

The ES4UP wiki is the next step in multi-stakeholder collaboration to develop a framework for reaching more of the poorest people in the world with more appropriate, effective financial and critical, integrated human services. The information presented here represents years of learning and collaboration between development practitioners, researchers, donors and other stakeholders with a shared passion for helping the most vulnerable that transcends single-sector development divisions. It is this boundary-free approach to looking at extreme poverty that we hope makes this platform uniquely valuable.
 
Myriad exceptional websites and online communities exist to support and promote learning and synergies across initiatives within a given sector. Microlinks.org, graduation.cgap.org, and globalpartnership.org (education) are a few excellent examples. Groups and networks also exist that focus on target beneficiary groups, such as women, people living with HIV/ AIDS, and orphans and vulnerable children. 
 
This community seeks to unite everyone with a mission to serve those who are not served – be they women or children, be it with an emphasis on health or entrepreneurship strengthening. The finance industry will call them ‘the unbanked.’ Health practitioners may use terms like ‘food-insecure’ or ‘chronically malnourished.’ We are all talking about the poorest, the ultra- or extreme poor, the bottom billion… the most vulnerable populations in the world for whom traditional and even exceptional and otherwise successful development and support interventions have failed.
 
We use an economic strengthening lens to approach finding solutions to extreme poverty. This does not mean that we are advocating economic strengthening interventions as THE key to reducing poverty. In fact one of the guiding principles we have learned about working with the poorest is that no single approach is sufficient, nor will a single multi-faceted solution move all households out of poverty – globally or at a community level. Rather we seek to develop sets of guiding principles, lessons learned, ‘best practices’… in essence, we want to find out “what works” from various approaches to alleviating poverty and let everyone know.
 
This website has been developed through a partnership between two learning and research communities: The Seep Network’s STEP UP initiative and the USAID LIFT Project, led by FHI 360.
 
Strengthening The Economic Potential of the Ultra Poor (STEP UP) is a learning initiative of SEEP to enhance opportunities for the ultra poor by organizing and sharing practical knowledge, piloting new ideas and scaling up proven approaches. In its 10+ year history (formerly known as the Poverty Outreach Working Group (POWG), STEP UP has engaged 100s of practitioners, researchers and donors in learning events, trainings, panel discussions, joint research initiatives and dozens of online events.
 
The Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance (LIFT) Project is led by FHI360 with partners CARE and Save the Children. LIFT is a flexible Associate Award designed to provide technical assistance to U.S. government agencies and their implementing partners in their efforts to improve food security for vulnerable  families through livelihood assistance and economic strengthening.