In the context of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, which include the commitment to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, the international community has committed to Leaving No One Behind; progress shouldn’t count as such if certain people are systematically excluded from it.
These were the premises of the Incorporating Pro-Poorest Growth in the SDGs: Moving Beyond the MDGs conference implemented by CPAN and the Asian Development Bank in Manila in April 2016 and funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Influential academics, internationally renowned researchers, policy-makers from developing countries and practitioners were reunited to discuss whether and how government policies could facilitate the inclusion of the poorest in economic growth. An aim of the organisers was to use the conference to validate and test the usefulness of the idea of pro-poorest growth – a new, alternative concept to help direct the focus of research and policy-making towards those people whom, despite the progress in economic growth and poverty reduction of the last decades, still live in conditions of deep, multi-dimensional and inter-generational deprivation.
The conference was animated by several discussions and disagreement around a variety of themes, such as definitions of the poorest and pro-poorest growth; policy approaches to the creation of income earning opportunities for the poorest (including the role of foreign direct investments); agriculture and the rural non-farm economy; the strengths and limitations of the ‘graduation approach’; and opportunities to amplify the (political) voice of the poor.