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.
SEEP’s Market Facilitation (MaFI) Working Group and Strengthening the Economic Potential of the Ultra Poor (STEP UP) Initiative hosted a series of webinars on the recently launched “Integrating Very Poor Producers Into Value Chains Field Guide.” The recordings can be found below:
STEP UPStrengthening The Economic Potential of the Ultra Poor (STEP UP) is a two-phase, four-year initiative to enhance opportunities for the ultra poor by organizing and sharing practical knowledge, piloting new ideas and scaling up proven approaches. STEP UP is a learning community of SEEP (www.seepnetwork.org), an association of over 130 national, regional and global organizations that believe in the power of enterprise to reduce global poverty. SEEP and its practitioner members seek to expand and improve opportunities for the poor to prosper with the help of appropriate financial services and improved access to markets. STEP UP emerged from work done over the last several years by SEEP’s Poverty Outreach Working Group (POWG), which supports microfinance and enterprise development practitioners in their quest to expand, share and apply effective economic strengthening practices for those living in extreme poverty.
The initiative will engage practitioners, researchers, policymakers, donors, and community leaders in dialogue and reflection across multiple areas of practice. The result will advance learning about how to work with the ultra poor and develop guidelines, tools, and training methodologies to be shared with the larger development community. STEP UP will probe and refine graduation and livelihood approaches – already showing promise with ultra poor households – to improve their efficacy and replication in new contexts. The initiative also will explore other emerging ultra poor approaches, such as income support (conditional cash transfers), integrated health services, microinsurance and savings programs to identify how they can best be structured to help the ultra poor accrue, consolidate and protect tangible and intangible assets. Ongoing discussion on existing and emerging topics identified by practitioners as being of crucial importance to ultra poor initiatives will guide the agenda, though participation of donors, researchers, regulators, and others from multiple sectors will be a key feature of STEP UP activities. This multi-stakeholder, multi-sector approach differentiates STEP UP from other learning communities and knowledge management activities, which typically bring together individuals working within a single area of practice (e.g., microfinance or education) from a single perspective (e.g., research or program development).
Step-Up Working Group Meeting on Members Day at the 2013 SEEP Annual Conference
The Working Group met on Members Day, Tuesday, November 5, 2013.