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What works for the poorest? Knowledge, policies and practices

Research reports

This research summary presents key themes and debates from the international conference of this name held at the BRAC Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2-5 December 2006.  Key questions highlighted are :

 How to finance the fight against extreme poverty? What is the potential for reaching the poorest through international aid, national and local public expenditure, economic growth, and community or social-movement selffinancing?

 What is the potential for social protection, and social policy – including asset transfers, health, education – to help the poorest people exit poverty?

 Can microfinance play a part for the poorest, and as part of social policy more broadly?

 How can the poorest deal with the social relations and political systems that maintain them in poverty, and find pathways out of poverty – including dealing with the danger of violence in response to their efforts to bring about change?

 How can the different domains (economic, social, political) that interlock to create poverty traps be unlocked?

 What does studying people as ‘the ultra-poor’, ‘the poorest’ etc mean for combating poverty: what are the ethical and practical implications of classifying and labelling people in this way, and creating ‘expert’ knowledge?

 While there is no consensus on all the answers to these questions, the debates summarised below contain a wealth of ideas, experience and practical suggestions to take the fight against chronic and extreme poverty forward

Karen Moore and Tim Braunholtz-Speight