The traditional discourse on the alleviation of poverty has always focused on what governments can do to eradicate or minimise the effects of poverty on their population or on populations across the world. Wikepedia estimates that approximately 1/2 of the world’s population suffers from poverty which indicates that it is a huge problem that needs co-ordinated government action.
However, I am really interested in the role of individuals who are suffering from poverty and what they can do to reduce poverty on the world population. The work we do on Youth Act constantly shows us that the best and most effective solutions to public policy problems come from groups made up of individuals who are affected by that problem, so what can we do to engage people to take action on their own poverty?
The libertarian educationalist in me thinks that we need to invest time in equipping people with the skills and knowledge to find solutions to their own poverty as there isn’t a univeral solution to worldwide poverty – we need to ensure that the voices of the people who are being affected directly by poverty are heard in the discussions to allocate resources. It is more that participation we need to bring social action to the discssion on solutions to poverty!
I will be back to blog more on how to create spaces for a more deliberative discussion that leads to action on poverty later after I come back from the G-Nation Awards!!