Friday, December 11, 2015

Livelihoods Asia Summit 2015

Livelihoods Asia Summit 2015 was being held on December 10 and 11 at New Delhi, India. The Summit sessions were around topics like skill development, impacts of climate change on livelihoods, inclusive value chains, policy innovations, and private sector partnerships among the approaches that offer a pathway out of poverty. The summit has more than hundred delegates working as sector specialists, practitioner and advocates in the livelihood sector. Panel sessions and other live events are great — especially the Q&A ranges from absurd to tricky.

There was focus on policies, programs, private players and potential in poor during the sessions. There was emphasis by panelist to think of poverty as a dynamic and multidimensional phenomenon. There are so many policy level talks on SHG and FPO but the dialogues on next generation of institution was lacking in the summit. The summit also ignored rights-based approaches to livelihood development while there is a strong body of literature exists showing the correlation between empowerment and economic productivity.

There are two school of thoughts emerging in usage of poverty alleviation fund. One views the establishment of the community institution through participation of the civil society organizations while other pitches for direct benefit transfers to the beneficiaries. Government official from Rural development ministry pointed success of universal primary education and connectivity to rural areas through PMGSY. The welcome part was an eye opening session on the impact of climate change on livelihood of ultra poor. Experts suggested that the people need risk transfers and insurance protection for livelihood recovery post disaster.

I enjoyed much of the time in the summit.  As much I got out of the conference, I know there is still more to learn and more to share. Yet, I have always wondered about these summits where every leader talks about what needs to be done! But they are the ones who should be doing it ! The underline of the summit - No one organization can eradicate hunger and reduce poverty alone, only in partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders can all of us achieve the goals.

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