Senin, 01 November 2010

Poverty Reduction: a Challenge of the 21st Century

The problem of poverty is extremely problematic, so that the efforts in alleviating it are also extremely complicated. The first difficulty in poverty studies is the confusing standard of poverty used by the World Bank. This fact directly contributes to the inappropriateness of poverty measurement. The other complexity of poverty is that there are multi-dimensions and multi-interpretations of poverty. At least, there are 39 dimensions of poverty, which are interconnect and interdependent each other.

Unfortunately, there is no agreement between scholars and policy makers regarding with the starting point of poverty reduction. The problems constitute a ‘vicious circle’, so that the efforts and policies should be done simultaneously. In this sense, poverty alleviation policies should be structured into five aspects, those are: economic development, financing system, consultation, organizing various social and community organization, and promoting primary education and health system. Beside, a comprehensive strategy to attack poverty is recommended too.

The impacts of poverty on are diverse in various sectors of development. In education sector, for instance, poverty may cause low enrollment and high repetition of schooling. In turn, illiteracy will lead to the high rate of fertility, but at the same time there is a high rate of infant mortality. Meanwhile, poverty in rural Bangladesh is a typical example on how difficult to eradicate poverty. There are six biases that make the strategies are likely to be unsuccessfully implemented, those are spatial biases, project biases, person biases, dry season biases, diplomatic biases, and professional biases.

Given that poverty is global issue in global era, and its propensity to be worsening, it is essential for developing countries, supported by developed countries, to formulate wide-ranging good policies and to ensure that they can be implemented effectively.

June 26th, 2002

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