Leave No One Behind: the Exclusion of the Extreme Poor in Development Interventions, Guide on Inclusive Business and Trickle-up

Food for thought and updates from the the second meeting of the year of the Dutch Platform Leave No One Behind (LNOB)

agenda May 7, 2019

On Thursday, April 25, 2019, the Dutch Platform Leave No One Behind (LNOB) held its second meeting of the year. On the agenda were: dynamics of exclusion within development interventions, an update on the final steps around the Practitioners’ Guide on Inclusive Business partnerships and a presentation of the Trickle-up synthesis study and the related follow-up.

“The hidden faces of poverty. Inclusion and exclusion of extreme poor people in development interventions” Anika Altaf
Anika Altaf, PhD graduate at the University of Amsterdam, presented her dissertation on the troublingly persistent exclusion of the extreme poor and of marginalised people from development interventions, notwithstanding the efforts. On the basis of four case studies (three in the countryside and one in a city), she concluded that the reasons for this exclusion are multiple and have inter alia to do with a lack of a clear conceptualization of and inadequate targeting models for the “extreme poor” by NGOs as well as vicious dynamics of self-exclusion. Interestingly, extreme poverty in cities differs significantly from rural poverty and the related dynamics of exclusion from development interventions are less marked. On the basis of her findings, Anika concluded her presentation with a number of recommendations. In particular, development organisations were invited to adopt a more holistic and integrated approach as well as to seek more intensive cooperation with the local communities.

Content and dissemination plans of the “Practitioners’ Guide on Inclusive Business Partnerships” – Nelleke van der Vleuten & core group
Nelleke van der Vleuten (ENDEVA) presented the content of the “Practitioners Guide on NGO-IB partnerships” and discussed the related dissemination plans. Nelleke and the publication’s core group emphasised once more that the added value of this guide lies in its pragmatic focus on how NGOs should engage with businesses in inclusive partnerships. Important insights that were shared with the platform were the necessity of defining clear roles, responsibilities and actions for each party involved as well as the potential challenge of being flexible while holding to the core mission and values of the NGO. For any further question on the guide, you can reach out to the core group or Nelleke.
The guide will be available online (and hopefully on hard copy too) by the end of May and will be officially released on June 13 at the “How NGOs see Africa’s future” event organised by the Netherlands Africa Business Council. Furthermore, a workshop will be held at Partos Innovation Festival on October 11 and other learning events and webinars might be organised too. More news will follow soon!

Trickle-up: synthesis study and next steps – Frank van Kesteren
Frank van Kesteren (The Broker) briefly outlined the context and the findings of the Trickle-up synthesis study that The Broker wrote for Partos/The Spindle. On the basis of the analysis of four core assumptions, this study concludes that evidence for trickle-down is very limited while that for trickle-up is more substantial and convincing. Accordingly, the publication constitutes a solid basis for a sector-wide proposition on the adoption of a more inclusive economic approach: trickle-up! More specifically, the synthesis proposes a policy agenda featuring eight recommendations falling under two key domains:

  1. Reduce inequality through progressive taxation;
  2. Make pro-poor investments through comprehensive, integrated programmes.

For more details, you can read the whole study here.
It is important to emphasise that the agenda formulated in the Trickle-up study is not a definitive, all-encompassing framework, but more a starting point for further debate. The idea is to eventually produce a sector-wide manifest which outlines the joint position of the sector on (socio-)economic development and constitutes a guiding line for the sector’s interventions and activities in this area. Willing to think along and contribute to this process? Send an e-mail to Luca Volonté (luca@partos.nl)!

The Spindle’s publication on Inclusion– Call for input
This year, The Broker is writing a publication commissioned by The Spindle on Inclusion and Inclusive Civil Society Initiatives. The publication is aimed at inspiring the development sector with illustrative background chapters on inclusion in all its forms (economic, social, spatial etc.). and interesting examples and case studies of inclusive civil society initiatives. If you have any input or want to be part of the redaction group, please send an e-mail to Anne-Marie Heemskerk (amh@partos.nl).

Notes, presentations, and other information shared within the Platform can be found on the LNOB dropbox.
Keep an eye on our website to read more or to join a new meeting of the Leave No One Behind Platform in 2019. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us (info@thespindle.org).

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