Participate presents research to post-2015 High Level Panel

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Catherine Setchell

The High Level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons appointed by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon will meet for the fourth time this week in Bali, Indonesia to debate the future global development agenda after 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire.

The Participate initiative, co-convened by IDS and Beyond2015 will be there to present the findings of its synthesis research report, “What Matters Most? Evidence from 84 participatory studies with those living with extreme poverty and marginalisation”

Participate presented the early findings of their research synthesis at the second HLP meeting in February in Monrovia, Liberia to panel members and their advisors. Since this meeting, Participate has completed the analysis of 84 participatory research studies, and aims to inform the post-2015 policy discussions with evidence from people living in extreme poverty. The findings will be shared with the High Level Panel, civil society organisations and policymakers as part of a ‘town hall’ session on Citizens’ Voices for the Post-2015 Agenda at the Bali meeting.

The key messages that emerged from the research include the following:

  • In 83 per cent of the studies, social inequalities were identified as persistent and perpetuating exclusion at all levels of development.
  • A recurring message appeared in 63 per cent of studies that the very poorest are unable to access the infrastructure, services, support and opportunities that others who are less poor can.
  • 73 per cent of the studies identified the need for meaningful participation of marginalised people in development which will lead to local ownership and the sustainability of development approaches.
  • 44 per cent of the studies highlighted that poor governance reinforces poverty for the poorest and most marginalised.

Based on the findings from the research, Participate will be highlighting to the HLP in Bali that the success of the future post-2015 framework rests on its ability to respond to:

  • Highly dynamic contexts                     

The landscape of poverty is increasingly characterised by crisis, shocks, conflict, uncertainty and volatility. Policies and approaches need to be more adaptive to continuously changing environments and circumstances.

  • Social norms that discriminate

Systems and institutions that support people’s claims to rights can be undermined by intolerance and prejudice. Challenging unfair power structures that entrench inequalities is critical for positive change in people’s live.

  • Complex relationships between different problems.

Answering one part of a problem does not produce sustainable outcomes for the poorest unless all interrelated issues are simultaneously addressed. Policies need to be underpinned by a deep systemic understanding of people’s everyday lives. Agile learning and processes for generating feedback are required at local, national and global levels.

The research shows that people living in greatest poverty and those most marginalised want a different kind of development, where interventions and public policies enact principles that are inclusive and sustainable.

Participate’s key recommendations, based on the findings of the research are:

  • The post-2015 framework should aim for the eradication of extreme poverty and reduction in inequalities.
  • The post-2015 framework should strengthen the individual and collective capacities of people living in greatest poverty and marginalisation
  • Participation should be prioritised throughout the post-2015 framework.

 

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