Poverty will be reduced only if external support focuses on what matters to people, understand the differences between groups of people and works with them in a way that is congruent with their current livelihood strategies, economic realities, social environment and ability to adapt.
Responsive and Participatory
Poor people themselves must be the key actors in identifying and addressing their livelihood priorities. Developmental organizations and the state need to have effective processes and structures in place that enable them to listen and respond to the poor.
Poverty alleviation is an enormous challenge that could only be overcome by working at multiple levels, ensuring that microlevel interventions inform and influence the development of policy and an effective enabling environment and that micro-level structures and processes support people to build on their own strengths.
Taking advantage of and building on each other’s strengths is the best way forward. Every effort needs to be made to avoid duplication of effort and build effective working partnerships both with the public and the private sectors.
Arguably there are four key dimensions to sustainability – economic, social, environmental and institutional. All are important and there is a need to maintain a balance within and among them.