What is Poverty?Let's get a participatory feel of this presentation by asking everyone present to come forward with a definition of what constitutes poverty – shall we ? [Ask about 5 persons to come forward with a definition & record it]
Poverty, a working definitionPoverty is easily recognizable by most people- you know when people suffer fundamental deprivation – a lack of some basic things essential for their well-being. Poverty takes the shape of hunger, slum housing or homelessness, unhygienic living conditions, child and maternal mortality, dirty water, torn clothes, inadequate nutrition. However, the manner poverty is defined varies from one individual, organization and society to the other. Relative poverty constitutes global poverty.
PARREW CONCEPTION OF POVERTYThe parrew concept of poverty is a multi-dimensional cross-cultural dialectical and historical reality brought about, sustained and worsened by a lot of factors and causes, some caused by man, other beyond human control as those caused by natural disasters. Basically, the parrew conception sees poverty from the perspective that people living in poverty are not able to satisfy their minimum requirements for food, clothing or shelter. We have primary poverty, secondary poverty and complicated or complex poverty.
Primary Poverty This is defined by those who live upon a dollar a day; it is the acceptable international poverty line. Using purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rate this primary poverty line is converted easily in each country to local currency. It is relative to each county's unique socio-cultural and economic dynamics.
Secondary Poverty This is what you may call transitory poverty, or being non-poor. It is also called short term poverty: poverty experienced as a result of a temporary setback in household income; over time, despite secondary poverty, there is still enough keep the family above the poverty line.
Complicated PovertyThis is known as extreme poverty, ultra poverty, severe poverty persistent poverty or chronic poverty. It is poverty experienced by individuals and households for extended periods of time or throughout their lives. It is marked by a persistent absence of minimal provisions known as destitution, anomie or a condition defined by the African Poverty Research Documentation paper as "wasteful penury"
Poverty LineThis is the level of consumption, resources; income or expenditure necessary to meet a set of minimum requirements to feed both oneself and family adequately, or meet other requirements such as healthy, educational and clothing needs. People above this line are not poor.
Poverty Correlates These are the characteristics closely associated with the poor and used in measuring the severity of poverty such as living in a slum rural area, having a large number of children etc. The parrew model uses these correlates to target, measure and monitor the poverty impact of public expenditure.
Poverty Spell The period of time spent in poverty. It is the duration of poverty. Poverty spell studies (PSS) are used to measure the period spent in poverty, the poverty dynamics and trends that caused the transition from one dimension of poverty to the other. What causes persistent poverty are also studied.
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP)- A poverty reduction strategy paper is simply a programme plan to reduce poverty and create wealth and empower the people. Donor support these days are anchored on PRSPS submitted by each country. For Nigeria, it is known as NEEDS- National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy while for the States it is SEEDS- State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy. With PRSPS the concept of selectivity comes into play in global poverty dynamics because the allocation of development assistance prioritizes or favours those with good anti-poverty policies.
FEEDSParrew advocates and aim to fill, the poverty gap in both NEEDS and SEEDS by supplying the concept of FEEDS- Family Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy- since the family is the basic functioning unit of a nation. There must be adequate social protection of the needs of FEEDS so as to prevent and mitigate the shocks and national suffering of poor Nigerian families even when policies and programmes are aimed at reducing chronic poverty and creating wealth. Part of FEEDS Strategy is social intervention programmes for the poor such as food-for-education programmes etc. In Enugu State, I understand that there is a free lunch for pupils in primary schools and the state has been designated a number 1 seed state as a result of this and other dynamic poverty reduction programmes.
DeprivationA frustrating lack of welfare for the individual, family or society is usually perceived in terms of material resources; but Parrew conceives deprivation in a multi-dimensional terms which move from material goods to spiritual non-material resources. This helps to capture even psychological and social deprivation which the poor suffer relative to the family, group, state or country they belong to. Marginalization captures such a concept very well.
Depth of poverty Also known as the poverty gap, it was a measuring model initiated by the Department of International Development (DFID) in 2000 to gauge the average distance of poor individuals or households below the poverty line. At the bottom of the index is destitution, marked by a total or virtually complete absence of resources.
Wealth CreationIn simple terms, this refers to economic growth and better standard of living for the individual, family or states. But while a country's Gross National Product or Gross Domestic Product may indicate a better standard of living per head it may say nothing about the distribution of the levels for different social groups existing both above and below the country's poverty line. On other hand, Parrew research output in 2003 analyzing Africa's wealth creation programme indicated that economic growth says nothing about each country's poverty head count. This explains why the Parrew wealth creation strategies are more involved than economic growth policies. The Parrew wealth creation refers to two concepts – coping strategies and empowerment.
Coping StrategiesThese are ways and means used by individuals and families, dwelling in a harsh economic reform environment, respond to socio-economic challenges such as illness, unemployment etc. It includes the twin ideas of relief and alleviation of pain, disasters and stress brought about by poverty.
Empowerment A process and dynamic definition which gives people power over the different social, economic, cultural and political forces which govern their lives. When people gain power and control over these factors they achieve social and economic progress.The aim of empowerment is to create true wealth and involve the people in all aspects of governance. The DFID thinks more in terms of "setting up participatory processes" which will include but not limited to "increasing the incomes and assets of the poor; interventions that aim to enhance confidence and self-respect; developing collective organization and decision- making and by reforming political institutions to make them more inclusive". Making the government to be more inclusive frontally confronts the social causes and consequences of poverty. In this context, Nigeria's present NEEDS, the SEEDS of states and the FEEDS of Parrew are empowerment concepts and strategies aimed at lifting the poor above global and national poverty lines and creating the wealth for them. Any wealth creation strategy must increase the productivity of the individual and family. It must boost the human capital elements such as knowledge, skills and health which increase the total productivity of the individual and the human development index of the society.
Human Poverty IndexA composite index that focuses on those who do not achieve minimum standards of health, education and living conditions.
Millennium Development Goals 2015 (MDG)Poverty Reduction- a moral challenge: While the 2004-2005 poverty report looks at current global poverty, the 2006-07 report looks forward to attaining the 2015 agenda. It aims at examining the potential changes in poverty levels, the rising incidence and impacts of HIV/Aids, changes in conflict levels, and insecurity. In other words, 2006-07 report will focus on government policies required to successfully tackle poverty globally. What does it mean for us gathered here? It means that we have to use the PARREW model to address the complex social, economic and political processes that enable individuals, households, communities, key national and international development actors to respond to the challenge of poverty. The model will assist us to understand policy frameworks and to acquire how to promote their implementation as parties in poverty reduction. One of the millenium Development goals for 2015 is to reduce the number of people existing in complicated poverty by half. However, by 2015 when the number of poor is halved, there will still b 900 million people still dwelling in abject poverty.
Clearing misconception in poverty research, terminology and methodology.Misapplication of concepts has characterized global efforts to grapple with the challenges of poverty. This misapplication has had a deleterious effect on otherwise good policy formulations. An example is the government's continuos substitution and search for an enduring label for its poverty strategy policy. At the outset it was called poverty alleviation programme; National Poverty Eradication Scheme; then National Poverty Reduction Commission. Though the Federal Government has settled for eradication, confusion still trails the fine details of its policy framework on poverty. Which comes first: alleviation, relief, eradication or reduction?
Fighting Poverty in Nigeria without Datasets programme plan or framework for poverty policy Impact Analysis.The bane of our efforts at challenging poverty in Nigeria comes from the fact that we are fighting poverty without knowing the poverty head count of Nigeria, the depth of poverty, its coloration duration, geography, causes and impact on Nigeria's human development index. The model of Parrew assists us in doing this.
Fighting Poverty without the Poor The lack of a participatory mechanism which fully involves the civil society in formulating, implementing and monitoring poverty reduction strategy papers has brought about a correspondent lack of a pro-poor growth and transparent management of public resources. The fears of public involvement and inclusion in governance have brought about continuos pillage of budgetary allocation meant for the poor through political and economic opportunism.
The Dialectical and Historical Dimensions to Poverty Poverty is not just an economic issue; it is not limited to political economy; it is a social as well as a psychological issue. It is as old as man. Even the good old book tells us that "you always have the poor with you, and yet you do nothing". So poverty is always a collective human condition requiring a collective approach. It has everything to do with the exclusive policies of past military regimes in Nigeria, it has something to do with corruption, financial crime, with unsafe food and drug administration of the past; it has to do with the debilitating internecine ethnic conflicts in Nigeria including the Nigeria-Baifran War; it has to do with bad governance and bad policies. Nigerian poverty is both historical as well as dialectical. It is multi-dimensional. To understand the challenge of poverty and put into place proper reforms to successfully tackle it for the 2015 MDG target we are presenting the PARREW model to empower popular participation in the processes leading to formulation, implementation and monitoring of pro-poor growth policies as enshrined in NEEDS, SEEDS and to put in place the blue print for FEEDS – Family Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy.
PARREW MODELIn simple terms, Parrew presupposes that there is a sequential, organized, and systematic pattern and methodology of grappling with global poverty. In its summary this model is outlined in following sequence:-
The "P" in PARREW Poverty Engagement and Data ResearchNow, we have decided to do something about poverty. When we have decided to do something about our problem / condition, we have to know the exact nature of the problem. Poverty engagement could also be called poverty Data engagement and research. It means: · Sensitization on the condition called poverty and its evils / consequences;· Sensitization on what causes poverty:· Sensitization on the different approaches in the past and present used by different individuals, religions, NGOs, Governments and donor agencies:· field work by government staff in collaboration with NGO's / CBOs/ Foreign Donors, the Private Sector, Development Agencies to collaborate and gather data on
community, state, country specific assessment on the needs of the poor; how its target can be set and met, and the duration. ENGAGEMENT Is all aimed at reflecting the voice of the poor, NGOs and stakeholders involved in poverty reduction. When you have gathered data on the true situation of poverty you would have known the measure able poverty head count in each local government, community, state and country. In measurable terms, the first process in Parrew poverty research model is:-(1) Preliminary Assessment of the Poor (PAP)(2) Tertiary Poverty Assessment (TPA)(3) Standard Poverty Assessment ( SPA)It is very strategic to the realization of the objectives of this presentation to delineate what these critical engagement processes are before we go further.
POVERTY ENGAGEMENT (P) In Parrew Model a. Preliminary Assessment of the Poor-Relative PovertyWhat kind of poor people do we have here; what grades of poverty do we have here; what is the nature of their poverty; what do they need for alleviation and relief; what do they need to reduce their poverty; what can we do to reduce their poverty. What nature of socio-economic and political conditions do they require to create wealth? In order words, what kind of empowerment do they require? This requires physical tour by government officials, NGOs and development agencies. It's called "an encounter with poverty and its ugly face".
b. Tertiary Poverty AssessmentThe preliminary assessment stage will give us data and the structure, spread, gender, social and democratic needs of the poor in each village, local government, state and country in Africa. But the next stage is where civil society will play a greater role-authenticating data collated at the village level by government officials. NGOs and Development agencies must compare notes with government data – to see if data had been doctored, shadowed or even blacked out. Are there geographic zones that should be designated as high-sensitive destitute areas (HSDA); Data available to government must correspond to data available to NGOs and donor agencies. The problem in some African countries, especially Nigeria, is that NGOs depend entirely on Development Agencies who depend solely on government information sources and agents to collate data on poverty. Development agencies must create their own teams, empower NGOs to move to the slums and upgrade or downgrade the data on the poor. The fight against poverty in Nigeria and Africa is not moving as fast as we want it because there is no reliable statistics on who is poor, how poor, and where poor. All our government strategy to reduce poverty must redress this to produce Nigeria's poverty head count.
b. Standard Poverty Assessment:A consensus of data between government, non governmental organizations, the private sector and the development agencies produces a standard poverty content assessment which becomes the prop and framework under which state reform teams, poverty initiatives (PI), Poverty reduction papers (PRPs) poverty impact analysis of policies (PIAP) and poverty monitor of government programmes (PMGP) are constructed and used as a working model. The standard poverty assessment paper is the first thing a government bent upon producing efficacious. Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme or policy must do. They form the content of a contract with the people which will inform a broad sectoral policy which will work with the people to relieve, alleviate, reduce poverty and create sustainable wealth.
Poverty Engagement (PE) In SummaryIn summary (PE) is physical meeting with the poor people in the rural and urban communities; maintaining an open multi-layered partnership between government, NGOs and development agencies to interview the poor, collect, collate and analyze data so as to produce a genuine pro-people and pro-growth policies. It is the first point of coordination of efforts to fight poverty in Africa. It is participatory Data collection, collation and Analysis (PDCC).
The AR in PARREW (Alleviation and Relief) This stage takes care of the questions- Now that we know what the poor need, how do we assist them, both in the immediate and mediate term? what can we do to give relief to their distressed condition, how can we alleviate the destitution found in poverty?
The first thing you do to a poor person is to offer alleviation –the first step. It involves physical intervention with resources such as food, shelter, clothing, drugs and psychological support. Both alleviation and relief are both intervention processes which offer welfare and security to the poor but there is a subtle and yet fundamental difference. Relief processes are immediate while alleviation programmes are meant to take the poor out of a poverty spell by offering longer freedom from the frustration of poverty.
For Government, AR means Initiating polices and programmes that are poverty needs specific; Creation of an enabling environment for civil society partnership in policy Design, implementation and monitoringDesign or redesign of genuine PRS (NEEDS, SEEDS, FEEDS)
For NGOs, it means: A direct engagement in fieldwork to collaborate or contrast on data collated by governments; Make inputs on final policy design implementation and monitoring to ensure that poverty distress is alleviated and relieved within a measurable time span and indicators.
The R in PARREW (Reduction)The next appropriate step is reduction. They are the things you do to quantitatively and qualitatively reduce and decrease the poverty headcount as well as the depth of poverty. This involves a much more complex process and step than alleviation and relief. It pertains to when – infusion of resources / knowledge becomes regular, consistent, programmed and structural; the reduction programme assumes different dimensions. You can say, with certainty, that the first preliminary and fundamental steps to poverty reduction involve poverty engagement, alleviation (pain), relief (distress) and strategies for reduction. This is where you talk of evolving deliberate policy programmes, targets and goals to reduce the number of poor people (quantitatively) as well as the conditions of poverty (causes) qualitatively. This is where need-specific poverty reduction strategy programmes and papers assume the formality of governance. Government comes into the picture with a positive enabling environment for both government and non-governmental co-operation to tackle the problem. Different global agencies, governments and states have their different strategies and programmes to reduce poverty. Such global agencies include but are not limited to:The Department for International Development of the British Government (DFID)The World BankThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID)The International Monetary Fund (IMF)It is important at this stage to note that to reduce poverty we have to design a comprehensive diagnostics that will expose the dialectics of poverty. Poverty can only be reduced when:We reduce exclusive governments as against inclusive governance;When we reduce conflicts ethnic, religious & youth terrorism; Reduce corruption, public expenditure waste and political opportunism (as against the use of due process) & financial crime;Prioritize gender sensitization / equalization policies;Introduce community care, empowerment and Development;Pursue food security and Health Care (NAFDAC); Add value to knowledge as well as human capital –curriculum changes, skills acquisition such as ICT, Conflict Resolution and Peace-Building, Human Values / Character-building; Establish and monitor Good Governance-Transparency / accountability, Visionary leadership & democracy dividends / results; Global amity and comity with the world on anti-terrorism; Good economic management and reforms;
SummaryThe specifics of R are things you do to quantitatively and qualitatively increase the value of (add value) human capital. Increased human capital generates more resources and thereby reduces the incidents of poverty. Items 1, 2, 3 in the Parrew poverty reduction model add value to the worth of the human person as a fundamental factor in the production of goods and services. It leads to that desirable height in the poverty-wealth matrix known as NETWORTH. As I said earlier, we have to make the socio-economic wellbeing of the family the fundamental fulcrum of our poverty reduction strategy for it to work by designing FEEDS.
The "EW" in PARREW means Eradication and wealth creation. At this stage, the process is both negative and positive – the removal of those conditions that generate, worsen and complicate the stress, pain, frustration, situation, gap and spell of poverty and put into place an educational, economic , social and infrastructural conditions / incentives that add more value to human capital.
This is resources development of our people or what Dr. Ken Ife calls "Africa's knowledge capital". The net worth of the poor must be improved expanded and maximized. We must add value to our human worth, skills, knowledge, experiences, lessons, policies, programmes, democracy and governance. It is only the networth man or woman who can eradicate poverty, and most importantly, create a sustainable wealth that can help others to successfully go through the cycle of engagement, alleviation, relief and reduction. Networth is empowerment. Eradication is a very harsh and drastic word. It entails global, national, state and commercial inclusion of the poor by the rich. The UK gives the highest amount of development assistance money to fight poverty. Through the DFID, it collaborates more with governments to carry out this challenge. But we are making a case for FEEDS as well as NEEDS and SEEDS.
Poverty marginalizes and excludes individuals, families, groups, states and nations from the mainstream resource circulation, distribution and production; rather than integrate, poverty disintegrates its victims.
Wealth Creation – a positive condition in the matrix means fundamental additional attributes, values, resources structures, investments, reforms and the creation of a sustainable environment for private as well as social entrepreneurship to thrive within the bounds of economic freedom and constitutionalism. Specific steps that create wealth include but are not limited to:-·Establishment of structures to increase the human worth (Networth);Establishment of state institutions and reforms to increase the capacity, ability and resources of marginalized groups to attain sustainability; Ensuring financial / commercial liberty; Ensuring democratic freedom; Fight financial crime and organized terrorism;Full industrial capacity utilization;Establish through the CBN, "Banking for the poor" programmes for micro-credit lending:- Soft-landing long term micro-credit system for the lowest income brackets and indigenous entrepreneurs; encourage the industrial spirit among the rural poor by giving direct financial incentives. Soften the harshness of current bank interest loans. Establish cottage industries through community, youth and women empowerment co-operatives, business groups and NGOs. Take them through training, capacity building and proper management principles for success and sustainable wealth.
Professor Soludo C.C., the new Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, said that it is only "when we see the direction and vision of change and decide to change the old ways we have been doing business that Nigeria will be good, that we can fight poverty and prosper our people"
We do not agree less-----actually, the Parrew model seeks to redefine and add more networth value to the Poverty Reduction Programme of Government so as to entrench the people, to work for the family by including a FEEDS programme as national and state policy in the 2005 budget.
In Summary2015 is a realizable target; but we have to go into partnership with all stakeholders to successfully engage, challenge and reduce the poverty head count amongst humanity, and within our people in Nigeria.
We should have the courage to organize for an open poverty reduction blue print that will have the imprints of civil society from the formulation, implementation and monitoring steps. Even when we have seen that our PRSP is not working, we should have the courage to admit it and bring in other stakeholders for a review. PARREW is intent upon building a NEEDs, SEEDs, and FEEDs tripod for successful realization of our millennial goals for poverty eradication.
Parrew, in summary, is: · a new poverty participatory and engagement process;· a holistic poverty diagnosis that delineates the macro-economic, social, and institutional limitations of the present reduction strategies;· Further involvement of civil society in present and future formulation, implementation and monitoring of poverty assessment paper, strategic reduction programmes and policies, setting targets and measuring indicators for progress.· Prioritizing social, structural and macro-economic policies to be pro-poor and pro-growth;· Establish a new poverty reduction strategy paper for the family to be known as FEEDS [Involve the audience in the design and implementation of FEEDs – send your FEEDs ideas to email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08033760502] and or (08046107334)
Dr. Ani Chukwunonyelum is the Executive Director, Centre for Poverty Eradication,Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies CEPPERUNN), University Of Nigeria.[The Parrew model is exclusive to CEPPERUNN. One of the Parrew research products is the PRSP known as FEEDS & meant to empower destitute families and create sustainable wealth for the nation using the family as the policy planks for the successful reform and take-of of both NEEDs & SEED]