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Please note this is an updated version of: An integrated model for assessing wellbeing: Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways briefing no. 1, 2011.
Rural finance has the potential to help poor people out of poverty, and Latin America has met that challenge in some unique ways.This Brief by discusses impacts of microfinance’s in rural areas, presenting evidence on rural poverty as well as on microfinance’s positive effects on consumption and investment in education. It then describes the evolution of rural microfinance in Latin America, before presenting some key Latin American experiences that aim to increase rural peoples’ access, not only to credit, but to a range of financial services and products. The author provides a view on adaptations to credit technology used in urban areas for application in rural finance, and emphasises the importance of risk management in order to expand outreach.
The High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda's report sets out a universal agenda to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 through sustainable development. In the report, the Panel calls for the new post-2015 goals to drive five big transformative shifts:
Over time, the rural reality in Latin America has changed, with family farmers now more integrated in markets and significantly less dependent on agriculture for income. What does this mean for family farmers today?
In order to understand Latin America’s current experience with small-holder farming, it is helpful to understand two key changes in the region’s rural areas that have been evolving mainly over the past two decades: farmers’ increased access to markets and diversification of their income sources. This Brief takes a closer look at these two key evolutions, assessing the impact on small farmers and some of the driving forces, in particular by analysing the liberalisation policies of the 1990s and 2000s that played a strong role in driving forward these changes. It concludes by presenting some of the present policy priorities as well as some lessons learned based on the Latin American experience.
Saving for Change (SfC) is a community savings group programme designed and implemented by Oxfam America, Freedom from Hunger, and the Strømme Foundation. SfC operates in 13 countries in West Africa, Latin America and Asia.
This research conducted in Mali by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) at the University of Arizona examines the impacts of Saving for Change. IPA conducted a randomized control trial (RCT) with 500 villages (6000 households) as well as high frequency surveys with a subset of 600 households over a three-year period between 2009-2012.
BARA and IPA concluded that Saving for Change is an effective programme providing real socioeconomic benefits to its intended populations:
Though the main benchmark used to assess pension reforms continues to be the expected resulting fall in future government spending, the impact of policy changes on pension adequacy is increasingly coming to the fore. As yet, there does not seem to be a broad consensus in policymaking circles and academic literature on what constitutes the best measure of pension adequacy. While various indicators have been developed and utilised, no single measure appears to offer a clear indication of the extent to which reforms will impact on the achievement of pension system goals.
Many indicators appear ill-suited to study the effective impact of reforms, particularly those that change the nature of the pension system from defined benefit to defined contribution.
Existing measures are frequently hard to interpret as they do not have an underlying benchmark which allows their current or projected value to be assessed as adequate or inadequate. Currently used pension adequacy indicators tend to be point-in-time measures which ignore the impact of benefit indexation rules. They also are unaffected by very important factors, such as changes in the pension age and in life expectancy.
This paper argues for the use of adequacy indicators based on estimates of pension wealth (i.e. the total projected flow of pension benefits through retirement) calculated using more realistic labour market assumptions. These measures are used to give a better indication of the effective impact of pension reforms enacted since the 1990s in ten major European countries. They suggest that these reforms have decreased generosity significantly, but that the poverty alleviation function remains strong in those countries where minimum pensions were improved. However, moves to link benefits to contributions have raised clear adequacy concerns for women and for those on low incomes which policymakers should consider and tackle.
This report explores the causes, dynamics and persistence of poverty, and argues that current approaches to poverty often ignore its root causes. It analyses poverty reduction as part of long-term processes of social, economic and political transformation, and draws important lessons from the experiences of those countries that have successfully combined economic development and active social policy to reduce poverty.
The report examines the complex ways that poverty alleviation outcomes are shaped by the interconnection of ideas, institutions, policies and practices. It advocates for a pattern of growth and structural change that can generate and sustain jobs that are adequately remunerated and accessible to all – regardless of income or class status, gender, ethnicity or location.
Chapter four of the report considers gender inequalities in the home and in the market, and chapter seven considers care and wellbeing, including women's unpaid care.