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ES4VP Wiki - Home Image

Economic Strengthening for the Very Poor (ES4VP)


 |A - C| |D -F | |G - I| |L - M| |O - P| |R - T| |V|


A valuable item such as property, land, capital, money, a share in ownership, or a claim on others for future payment, such as a bond or a bank deposit.
Asset Transfers  When productive goods—livestock, seeds, tools, cash—are given to people to help them re-establish their livelihood.
Basic Needs The basic goods and services, such as food, shelter, clothing, sanitation and education, necessary for a minimum standard of living (ILO definition).
Business Development 


Comprise a wide range of non-financial services (marketing, financial/strategic planning, access to finance, links to input suppliers) provided by donors, governments, or private suppliers to entrepreneurs who use them to efficiently operate their businesses and make them grow.

Business Enabling Environment 


Includes norms and customs, laws, regulations, policies, international trade agreements and public infrastructure that either facilitate or hinder the movement of a product or service along its value chain.

Business Training  Organized activity aimed at imparting information and/or instructions to improve the recipient's performance or to help him or her attain a required level of knowledge or skill.
Caregiver A person who cares for a child inside the home.
Cash Transfers TBD 

Coping Mechanisms


Various ways in which households approach financial and social burdens to avoid resorting to damaging behaviors (selling productive assets, engaging in transactional sexual practices, eating at family homes, etc.) to survive.

Economic Development


The process of improving the quality of human life through increasing per capita income, reducing poverty, and enhancing individual economic opportunities. It is also sometimes defined to include better education, improved health and nutrition, conservation of natural resources, a cleaner environment, and a richer cultural life

Economic Strengthening


Economic strengthening approaches refer to programs and services that seek to develop the economic capacity of individuals and households. They range from direct interventions and services aimed at strengthening livelihood assets (such as capital gifts of animals, tools, or inventory) to systemic interventions and policies to bring about social and economic changes that can positively impact the economic capacity of ultra poor households (such as increased access to skills training and marketing supports). Economic strengthening approaches can include microfinance, microenterprise development, market development, livelihoods promotion, and asset transfers.

Enterprise Development (ED)


Helping people establish and expand businesses and farms, including all and very-small scale businesses and farms, through access to markets for inputs, for their products, and for business services, such as training, information, technology, or transportation. It means helping enterprises enter, remain in, and benefit more from market participation. It also includes market development, business services, value chain development, commercial business services, social enterprise, etc.

Financial Literacy 


Empowers recipients to make wise financial decisions. It teaches people how to save more, spend less, borrow prudently, and manage debt with discipline. It can also help more experienced program clients understand an array of financial services, from money transfers to insurance.

Financial Services  TBD 
Food Security


Having consistent access (both physical & financial) to enough food to meet dietary needs and live a productive and healthy life.



Refers to the move out of extreme poverty and into food security and sustainable livelihoods.

Household (HH)


A group of people living together that “eat from the same pot” (literally and figuratively). Includes family members and others who contribute to and take from resources regularly.

Household Economic Strengthening (HES)


The process by which individuals and households improve their living conditions by participating in any number of activities that increase assets (physical, financial, human or social) and/ or their capacity to obtain them. 

Income Generating Activities (IGA)


Any activities aimed at increasing income or food, such as working, gaining access to credit, business skills training, or improving market access.

Intergenerational Poverty 


When poverty is transmitted from one generation to another, with poor parents having poor children, who are more likely to become poor adults themselves. This intergenerational transmission of poverty can be the long term effects of poor nutrition, inadequate education and health care, few assets or a lack of opportunities. Policies and programmes can help to break this cycle.

Internally Displaced          Person (IDP)

Someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders.


Comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks, and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base’ (adapted from Scoones, 1998).

Livelihood Assets

Natural resources, technologies, skills, knowledge and capacity, health, access to education, sources of credit, or networks of social support.



A livelihood is defined as a combination of the resources used and the activities undertaken in order to live. The resources might consist of individual skills and abilities (human capital), land, savings, and equipment (natural, financial, and physical capital, respectively) and formal support groups or informal networks that assist in the activities being undertaken (social capital).



The market includes all participants in producing, buying and selling a good or service. The market collectively determines what is to be supplied, for what price and where it is to be sold. 

Market Assessment


Gathering information about potential clients, their industry, and the end-customer demand for one’s products and services. It includes processing and presenting this information for use in making key program design and implementation decisions. It is often used in enterprise development.

Market Facilitation   TBD
Marketplace Anywhere retail goods and services can be bought and sold by community members.


A small-scale business in the informal sector. Microenterprises often employ fewer than five people and can be based out of the home. Microenterprise is often the sole of family income, but can also act as a supplement to other forms of income. 



The provision of financial services such as loans, savings, insurance, and training to people living in poverty. It is one of the great success stories in the developing world in the last 30 years and is widely recognized as a just and sustainable solution in alleviating global poverty.

Microinsurance  A developing field of microfinance that provides health insurance and other insurance products to microentrepreneurs and employees in the informal sector.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children


The official definition of an orphan is a child aged zero to 17 years whose mother, father, or both have died.  There are, however, other children who are referred to as social orphans even though one or both their parents may still be alive but who have been unable to perform parental duties because of illness or acute poverty among other reasons. A vulnerable child is defined as being under the age of 18 years and currently at high risk of lacking adequate care and protection. Accordingly, all children are vulnerable by nature compared to adults, but some are more critically vulnerable than others. “Child vulnerability is a downward spiral where each shock leads to a new level of vulnerability, and each new level opens up for a host of new risks. In other words, the probability of a child experiencing a negative outcome rises with each shock.” 

Poverty Outreach 


Targets very poor or vulnerable populations with services that meet their needs, practitioners must consider a number of on-the-ground realities that they may not face with other populations. It nvestigates how to provide sustainable microfinance and enterprise development services that help the very poor move out of poverty.

Progress Out of Poverty 


An easy to use, flexible tool that is easily customized for a particular country.  It is a unique composite of ten easy-to-collect, country-specific, non-financial indicators such as family size, the number of children attending school, the type of housing, and access to drinking water. This country-specific PPI then serves as a baseline from which client movement out of poverty is measured. By using benchmarks and standards of measurement that produce reliable information, managers can build client profiles and track how they change over time. This tool is fast becoming an industry standard.



A person who is outside his or her country of origin or habitual residence because they have suffered (or fear) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted 'social group' or because they are fleeing a war or natural disaster. Such a person may be called an 'asylum seeker' until recognized by the state where they make a claim.

Remittances  A transfer of money by a foreign worker to his or her home country or simply sending amount from one country to another.
Safety Nets   TBD
Savings  - Group


A member-owned institution composed of a small number of people who save together and take small loans from those savings. Savings groups are promoted by numerous international and local NGOs, government agencies and microfinance institutions and differ in procedures and methodologies. 


A devastating event that increases the vulnerability (financially and otherwise) of an individual or household. Examples include illness or death of a breadwinner, physical destruction of assets, and environmental upheaval (natural disaster, war, etc.).

Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA)  TBD
Targeting   TBD
The Coping Strategy Index


An indicator of household food security that is relatively simple and quick to use, straightforward to understand, and correlates well with more complex measures of food security. A series of questions about how households manage to cope with a shortfall in food for consumption results in a simple numeric score. In its simplest form, monitoring changes in the CSI score indicates whether household food security status is declining or improving.

Value Chain


A market system. The network of firms that buy and sell to each other in order to
supply a particular set of products or services to a particular group of final consumers. A value chain includes both those market players directly involved in the production and distribution of the end products or services and those that provide support products and services.

Value Chain Development (VCD)


A positive or desirable change in a value chain to extend or improve productive operations and generate social benefits: poverty reduction, income and employment generation, economic growth, environmental performance, gender equity and other development goals.

Vulnerability Context


Vulnerability refers to a household’s susceptibility to a future acute loss and its capacity to maintain its livelihood and food security over time. Vulnerability is defined as: “the household’s susceptibility to shocks and stresses that affect the household’s ability to generate sufficient income to earn a livelihood and achieve a threshold level of nutritional requirements for a healthy life both now and in the future.

Vulnerable Children (VC) “[Children] who, because of circumstances of birth or immediate environment, [are] prone to abuse or deprivation of basic needs, care and protection, and thus disadvantaged relative to [their] peers.”[1]