Podcast episodes Poverty Unpacked chats

Episode #31: Poverty Unpacked – April chat

laptop and microphone blurred in background with title 'Poverty Unpacked - April Chat'

Welcome to the first version of my new bi-monthly episode!

Instead of publishing a written post in the months that we’re not hosting external guests, I’m trialling a new type of episode in which I – your host, Keetie Roelen – share news, books, research, and other podcasts on poverty that caught our eye.

In this episode, I first talk about the newly published book ‘Broke. Fixing Britain’s poverty crisis’, edited by Tom Clark. There are many great contributions by authors including Kerry Hudson (foreword) and Frances Ryan (disability), all of which could fill an episode in and of themselves.

I highlight the chapter about housing by Jem Bartholomew, and draw parallels to Matthew Desmond’s book ‘Evicted’. The housing crisis leading to squalor, stress and poor health for many in the UK and the US is palpable in both books.

Second, I reflect on episode of a podcast by the Dutch newspaper NRC, which has a really good discussion of poverty in the Netherlands and how difficult it is to navigate the country’s welfare system.

Despite the Netherlands being one of the few countries having appointed a dedicated government minister for poverty reduction, the country struggles to reduce poverty, not least because of its complex web of support. I read a brilliant (loosely translated) LinkedIn post by Albert Jan Kruiter from the Institute of Public Values to illustrate the absurdity of it all.

Finally, there’s the interesting debate about the role of economic growth in reducing poverty. Charles Kenny and colleagues from the Centre for Global Development wrote a report with a range of scenarios on economic growth, showing that at least seven percent GDP growth is necessary in least developed countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights responded with an opinion piece in the Guardian arguing that this focus is misplaced and that we should think about reducing inequality instead. This provoked a response by Kenny, arguing that economic growth is necessary. He also elaborated on this in an episode of ‘In Pursuit of Development’.

Let us know what you think, and do share items that you think we should be covering!

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