Main objectives and policy instruments of poverty reduction

While much of the western universe benefits from decennaries of economic growing, it is difficult to gestate that a big proportion of the population still struggles for endurance as a consequence of utmost poorness and want. To day of the month, about 1 billion people still have an income of less than $ 1 per twenty-four hours ( OECD, 2007 ) . The inquiry of what policies and schemes are most effectual in accomplishing sustained poorness decrease is among one the most of import and complex challenges that face policy shapers involved in economic development. In visible radiation of this inquiry, this paper will reexamine the aims and policy instruments associated with poorness decrease. First, the paper will really briefly give an lineation of the aims of poorness decrease through sing the Millennium Development Goals. Secondly and of greater focal point, the paper will see the importance of economic growing as a policy instrument associated with poorness decrease.

Policy Aims

Before it is possible to implement schemes and policy focussed at cut downing poorness, it is foremost indispensable to put specific and measureable aims aiming the countries in which poorness exists. Poverty by definition is complicated and must give consideration to a figure of dimensions. The OECD ( 2001 ) defines poorness as “ the inability of people to run into economic, societal, and other criterions of good being ” . Poverty, hence, can encapsulate want in countries such as wellness, income, gender, instruction and political relations. Aims of poorness decrease must widen to include all dimensions in which persons are deprived or debilitated.

The most widely recognised aims sing poorness decrease are provided through the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) . On September 2000 the MDGs were adopted by 189 states as a guideline for the aims of poorness decrease to be achieved by 2015 ( DFID, 2001 ) . The MDGs lineation 8 aims cardinal to the obliteration of poorness ( UNDP, 2010 ) . These aims are broken down into 21 different marks that are measured by 60 indexs ( A full lineation of the standards to run into these aims can be seen in Table 1 ) :

Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty

Achieve Universal Primary Education

Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Reduce Child Mortality

Improve Maternal Health

Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases

Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The MDGs highlight that aims of poorness decrease are non entirely confined to betterments in income but besides integrated aims of human development, sustainability, and equality. Broadly talking, these aims help to supply a planetary standard for mensurating advancement in poorness decrease and supply a graduated table of measuring adaptable in all states. It is of import to observe, nevertheless, that although the MDGs supply a model for developing states to utilize, poorness decrease schemes must be state specific taking into consideration the causes of poorness every bit good as the precedency of what aims need be tackled ( OECD, 2001 ) .

With these aims of poorness decrease in head, this raises the inquiry of what instruments are best suited in accomplishing these aims. As a comprehensive overview of all the chief policy instruments associated with poorness decrease is good beyond the range of this paper, the undermentioned subdivision will concentrate on the importance of economic growing as a policy instrument associated with poorness decrease.

Policy Instruments

Economic Growth

Historically, the chief instrument associated with poorness decrease has been economic growing. Economic growing is associated with poorness decrease on a figure of degrees. First, additions in GDP per capita are associated with betterments in human development. For illustration, increases in the mean income of a state are associated with betterments in life anticipation, infant mortality, and primary school registration – all cardinal elements of the MDGs ( Moser and Ichida, 2001 ) . Second, economic growing helps to creates occupations which are indispensable to bettering employment chances and raising incomes in the long-run ( DFID, 2001 ) . However, although economic growing is associated with betterments in income and human development, there still remains argument over the extent to which growing benefits the poorest persons in society.

In an effort to understand the consequence of economic growing on poorness, Dollar and Kraay ( 2002 ) examined the relationship between alterations in the mean GDP per capita income against the income of the lowest quintile of the population in 80 states. Dollar and Kraay found than on mean the income of the poorest quintile increased proportionally with additions in mean GDP per capita. Dollar and Kraay concluded that the effects of economic growing benefit the hapless every bit much as others in society. They suggested hence that standard growing heightening policies should be at the bosom of poorness decrease schemes.

The consequences from Dollar and Kraay emphasise the importance for states to follow models that are contributing to growing as a agency of poorness decrease. This is a position shared by Kruegar ( 2004 ) who highlights that “ economic growing is the chief path to enduring poorness decrease ” . Indeed, economic policies such as openness to merchandise, liberalization and sound financial policy which are seen as contributing to economic growing are besides associated with favorable poorness decrease ( World Bank, 2000 ) . Furthermore, by and large poverty decrease has been most significant in those states which have benefited from the most impressive rates of growing ( AusAid, 2007 ) . However, the consequences produced by Dollar and Kraay ( 2002 ) do non come without examination. The findings illustrate that economic growing benefited the lowest quintile proportionally ‘on norm ‘ yet there are instances where economic growing does non ever profit the poorest persons in society – Botswana is possibly an utmost illustration – and likewise at the other terminal of the graduated table, some states have demonstrated that the hapless have benefited well more than other groups during times of economic growing ( World Bank, 1993 ) . This raises a farther inquiry of why growing influences poverty decrease in some states more than others.

Pro-Poor Growth

More late, a greater focal point is being placed on degrees of inequality within a state as a determiner on the consequence of economic growing on poorness decrease. The OECD ( 2001 ) suggests that merely half the additions of those in poorness are a consequence of GDP growing whereas the other half comes from schemes that target the ‘composition, distribution and sustainability ‘ of growing. Ravallion ( 1997 ) measured the consequence of growing on poorness snap in states with initial degrees of low and high-income inequality. Ravallion found that economic growing reduced poorness in low income inequality states about twice every bit much as those in high income inequality states. In other words, states with high degrees of inequality would necessitate growing rates twice that of low inequality states to fit similar degrees of poorness decrease. The findings by Ravallion highlight that policies aiming poorness decrease therefore must besides see the distributional facet of growing. This places a greater accent on ‘pro-poor growing ‘ . That is, growing that is combined with aims of rapid and sustained poorness decrease ( OECD, 2007 ) .

Pro-poor growing schemes must try to aim the countries in which poorness and inequalities exist, and every bit mentioned this can happen in a figure of dimensions. Typically, those in poorness have a deficiency of entree to basic commissariats and services, such as instruction and health care, and hence inequalities are perpetuated due to a deficiency of chance. Pro-poor Policies must try to maximize the chances of the hapless through using their accomplishments and capablenesss ( DFID, 2003 ) . This can be done through a figure of channels, and the function of both the private and public sector are of import. For illustration, in the private sector supplying the hapless with entree to markets and recognition is seen as indispensable for affecting the hapless in the economic system and making occupations ( ODI, 2008 ) . Recently microfinance strategies have been highly good in supplying entree to recognition and vocational preparation for the hapless. However, engagement in markets is merely contributing to pro-poor growing if there is appropriate ordinance and policies which can protect the hapless in the event of market failures ( OECD, 2007 ) . Pro-poor policies must try to advance macroeconomic stableness within a state to guarantee that the hapless are non affected by market-shocks and lifting rising prices ( DFID, 2003 ) .

Additionally, the distribution of authorities disbursement is seen as a cardinal instrument in the publicity of pro-poor growing. In developing states, authorities disbursement has been found to be mostly inefficient in that it tends to be focussed disproportionately towards higher income groups at the disbursal of the hapless ( Wilhelm and Fiestas, 2005 ) . Pro-poor authorities disbursement can increase the engagement of the poorest persons through efficient and just financial policy increasing entree to these basic services which in bend can cut down inequalities and advance economic growing. Indeed, states which have a fairer distribution of authorities disbursement are more likely to hold lower degrees of inequality ( Lopez, Thomas, and Wang, 2008 ) .

It is of import to observe that happening the appropriate balance between both policies that are good for poorness decrease and policies that are good for growing is highly complicated and may necessitate tradeoffs. Pro-poor schemes such as redistribution through increased revenue enhancements may move to finance increased authorities outgo in hapless countries, nevertheless this may damage growing through reduced nest eggs and investing which could accordingly cut down the impact of poorness decrease in the long tally ( DFID, 2001 ) . For case, in the mid-part of Malaysia ‘s industrialization, policies focussed on equity were seen as inordinate and blamed for compressing economic growing ( Hassan, 2004 ) .

Broad-Based Growth

An indispensable factor of pro-poor growing is that it should be broad-based and aim the countries where poorness is widespread. Three quarters of poorness exists in rural countries, yet policies aiming growing are preponderantly focussed on the urban sector ( Anriquez and Stamoulis, 2007 ) . Indeed, widespread inequality is most significant between rural and urban countries ( Lopez, Thomas, and Wang, 2008 ) . Recently, in the 2008 World Development Report titled ‘Agriculture for Development ‘ , the World Bank ( 2008 ) highlighted that investing in agribusiness is progressively going an of import engine for poorness decrease. Investing in rural substructure and small-scale endeavors and services has been found to be extremely effectual in increasing productiveness and making employment. For illustration, decreases in poorness have been most significant in states which experienced the most important betterments in rural productiveness. From 1971 to 1999 agricultural productiveness per capita in East Asia, where poorness decrease was most rapid, increased by 45 % compared to sub-Saharan Africa with an addition in productiveness of merely 4 % ( DFID, 2003 ) . Furthermore, growing in agribusiness is more contributing to poverty decrease than any other sector ( DFID, 2003 ) . Indeed, the World Bank ( 2008 ) highlights the betterments in the MDGs of raising the income of all persons above $ 1 has been chiefly due to falling rural sector poorness whereas urban poorness has remained changeless and had small consequence.

However, once more, additions in agricultural productiveness and growing are strongly influenced by degrees of inequalities within the rural sector – in peculiar degrees of land inequality. Pro-poor policies which target poorness decrease through agricultural growing must besides give consideration to the possible impact of redistribution schemes. Land reform policies have been cited as a peculiar scheme as a agency of easing growing, cut downing inequalities and finally poverty decrease ( Hanmer, Healey and Naschold, 2000 ) .


In decision, this paper has highlighted the importance of growing, and in peculiar pro-poor growing as an instrument associated with poorness decrease. Growth is necessarily a necessary status of relieving poorness through raising the incomes of persons and through wider associations with betterments in human development. However, growing by itself is non ever sufficient in accomplishing sustained poorness decrease and the effects of economic growing on the hapless are inhibited by the degree of inequality within a state. Of equal importance, hence, is the construction of pro-poor growing. Governments must take an active function in poorness decrease schemes and cut down inequalities through increasing the chances of the hapless to entree basic commissariats and services, and this in bend can ease both poverty decrease and economic growing. Furthermore, it is of import that pro-poor growing marks where poorness is abundant. An increasing accent is being placed on growing and development in the agricultural sector as a cardinal driver of poorness decrease.

Finally, it is of import to advert that although this essay has emphasised the importance of growing, it has hardly scratched the surface of the complexness of poorness decrease. Poverty is multidimensional and there are countries of poorness and homo development which are hardly affected by betterments in growing and hence require policy instruments and schemes to aim them straight e.g. gender inequality ( Thomas, 2000 ) . Furthermore, there is no one-size-fits-all reply to poverty decrease and each state must place the causes of poorness and the independent schemes required to accomplish sustained poverty decrease. Merely so can the diverse aims of the Millennium Development Goals be realistically achieved.