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Economic Strengthening for the Very Poor (ES4VP)

Economic Strengthening Ultra Poor - Introduction

Anti-poverty strategies to improve the economic status of poor households include microfinance, pro-poor market development and value chain approaches.  While proven useful to help manage the financial lives and strengthen the livelihoods of poor households, microfinance and value chain development are considered less successful in reaching very poor and vulnerable persons and households.  Unless their more urgent and basic needs (such as food, clean water, health) are met, efforts to improve their productive potential will fail.

The multi-faceted nature of extreme poverty and vulnerability of these households demands that multiple professional disciplines, economic and non-economic, intersect and address critical dimensions of poverty in a coordinated manner.  An important premise of ES4VP is that while economic strengthening approaches are essential for improving the lives of those living in extreme poverty, they are ineffective in isolation and must be coordinated with essential human services such as health, nutrition, education, sanitation and expansion of social networks and market connections.

Working at the intersection of various economic and social disciplines to address extreme poverty has proven a real challenge for practitioners and policy makers alike. This wiki intends to lure various sector specialists out of their traditional silos by introducing them to basic concepts and how-to guides of other than their own disciplines that might otherwise remain too technical and foreign to them. This wiki provides economic development professionals with access to resources and tools used by health, safety net and other social development practitioner who tackle extreme poverty, and vice versa, allow social development professionals a better understanding and access to economic strengthening methods and tools. But most importantly, this wiki intends to aid practitioners and donors to engage in a multi-sectoral approach to designing and implementing strategies to assisting the poorest to fulfill their economic potential and improve their overall quality of life.

Practitioners and policymakers will have created or improved an ample array of tools and programs to reach the very poor. They will have established collaborations across development disciplines and addressed the coordination problem in order to offer appropriately sequenced services that are demand-led, very poor friendly, adaptable to local circumstances and scalable. Robust multi-method monitoring and evaluation will inform ongoing enhancements and innovations and signal necessary adaptations and corrections.