October is here! Welcome to another version of our bi-monthly catch up with poverty-related news and resources.
First off, a shout out to ATD Fourth World, a fantastic organisation working with and for people in poverty. If you haven’t heard of them already, check out their global page. There’s country-based members too, so head over the their websites for more localised initiatives.
Next, reflections from the recent conference ‘Reimagining Social Protection‘ at the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, and especially its panel on lived experiences. Four panellists shared very thought-provoking insights into the realities of applying for and receiving welfare through Universal Credit in the UK and the social grants system in South Africa.
More conferencing happened a few weeks later at the Centre for the Study of Global Development, this time under the heading ‘Poverty Reduction: Rethinking Policy and Practice‘. We heard about the sobering prospect that Sustainable Development Goal #1 on eradicating extreme poverty won’t be met and discussed the need to link poverty reduction programming with climate change agendas, to build resilience, to take into consideration structural factors, and to pay greater attention to frontline workers.
Then there were books!
First, ‘Shame: The Politics and Power of an Emotion‘ by David Keen. A thorough interrogation of the concept and use of shame in today’s political world, and how this goes hand-in-hand with increased ‘shamelessness’. It’s the joint exploration of these two sides of the coin – also in relation to poverty – that this book is on my reading list. It made me think of another book on this topic called ‘Is Shame Necessary‘ by Jennifer Jacquet, and of ‘So you’ve been publicly shamed‘ by Jon Ronson.
Second, ‘The Escape From Poverty‘ by UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Right Olivier de Schutter, Hugh Frazer, Anne-Catherine Guio and Eric Marlier. The book does what it says on the tin: it discusses what’s needed to break the poverty cycle, especially zooming in on investments in childhood. Also on my reading list, not least because I have a sense that many of the points made in this book will resonate with the conversation we had with Olivier de Schutter in Episode #21. The post ‘What we say matters’ on talking about intergenerational persistence of poverty (rather than intergenerational transmission of poverty) can be found here.
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