Developing strategies to end hunger

Reality Checks for High Level Panels

Overcoming the dehumanization produced by a system of consumption, and reinvigorating love in every human being's heart. Union and harmonious interaction in diversity are the basis for the common good.

According to a panel of some of the poorest people in Brazil -- people with little formal education and no cellphones -- that's what development means.  

As the world makes a final push to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by December 2015, developing a "post-2015 agenda" for global development is on the minds of many. We hear a lot about High Level panels, meetings, and the like.

Participate: Knowledge from the Margins for Post-2015 is a coalition effort, led by the U.K. Institute of Development Studies and the global campaign Beyond 2015 and funded by the U.K. government, to "provide high-quality evidence of the reality of poverty on the ground."

One criticism of the MDGs is that the targets don't reach the poorest and most marginalized people. Mathematically, it's quite possible to cut hunger in half with little improvement in the lives of millions of the poorest. And practically, it's a lot more than possible -- because they are the hardest people to reach.

So Participate set out to form "Ground Level panels." Four groups of experts -- people who are living with hunger and poverty in Brazil, Uganda, Egypt, and India -- offered a "reality check" for the High Level panel, which presented its recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in May. 

Each Ground Level panel included a diverse group of 11-14 people. Among them were residents of urban slums, disabled people, people living in areas affected by conflict, people from nomadic and/or indigenous communities, and older people.

Learn more about what they said in The Guardian's article with links, including links to the full texts of the four panel reports.

Participate's resources also include the voices of many other marginalized people. Two of these resources are:

A report that compiles the main messages from 84 initiatives to listen to some of the poorest people

"What Do We Know About How to Bring the Perspectives of People Living in Poverty into Global Policymaking?"

Michele Learner


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