A Systematic Integrated Approach for Crafting Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Projects
Poverty reduction and sustainable development programmes lack a systematic, integrated approach that serves to frame issues, simplify complexity and guide action. Responding to five common challenges yields such an approach: 1) How diverse groups can work together effectively, mitigating power inequities and corruption; 2) How to prioritize problems more objectively; 3) How to build sufficient contextual understanding of problems; 4) How to compare alternative solutions for relative sustainability; and 5) How to build sufficient societal capacity to sustain solutions. The approach weaves together five strands: Social learning theory and participatory methods to build collaboration; Vulnerability theory to prioritize problems; Systems thinking to understand context; Sustainability assessment to compare alternative solutions; and integrated capacity building to sustain the preferred solution: SVSSC for short. Existing projects often fail to recognize several of these strands and synergy is not exploited, undermining progress. Globally, the approach seeks to strengthen Agenda 21 and Millennium Project plans that are prescriptive. The literature foundation is complemented by case study applications: urban industrial poverty and health risks in Massachusetts, USA (design and implementation using SVSSC); malaria in the Lake Victoria Region, East Africa (framing and design); and watershed stress in Central Mexico (framing and design). The SVSSC model can strengthen governance, can be scaled up or down, applied across different sectors, tailored to existing contexts yet remain adaptive to change. © 2007 The Author. Journal compilation © 2007 United Nations.
Natural Resources Forum
capacity building, poverty reduction, social learning, sustainable development
Downs, Timothy, "A Systematic Integrated Approach for Crafting Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development Projects" (2007). International Development, Community, and Environment. 134.