Ensuring that no one is left behind - Lifting people out of poverty and addressing basic needs
Monday, 11 July 2016
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
In today’s world, billions of people, particularly in developing countries, continue to lack services to meet basic needs such as education, health care, as well as water supply and sanitation. Building capacity to meet these needs will create jobs, economic opportunities and well-being while helping to ensure no one is left behind. The session will identify how meeting the needs for basic social services can enable rapid social, economic and environmental progress while reducing poverty, in order to capitalize on possible synergies while reducing potential trade-offs.
Although there have been significant gains in terms of eradicating poverty and hunger along with access to basic services such as water, sanitation and education under the MDG framework, the rate of improvement for the poorest most often lags behind that of those who are better off . To leave no one behind, it is critical that the 2030 agenda reaches the furthest behind first by targeting the least advantaged. This objective could be advanced by systematically identifying the communities most in need of basic social services such reporting on targets for the groups that are furthest behind.
Leaving no one behind necessitates universal access to basic services. According to the Human Development Report “Universal provision of basic social services can raise social competences through several channels. It can be a powerful force to equalize opportunities and outcomes. The case for universal provision of basic social services rests, first and foremost, on the premises that all humans should be empowered to live lives they value and that access to certain basic elements of a dignified life ought to be delinked from people’s ability to pay.” Ambitious measures to extend education, healthcare and water access have been adopted by countries under different conditions and at different stages of development.
Meeting basic needs for the poor is an area of immense opportunity. Empowering local communities to benefit from the provision of basic services unlocks real potential for social, economic and environmental progress. Evidence shows that many societies who have made investments in education, health and water see massive benefits outweighing the initial investment.
The 2030 Agenda is built on the belief that collaborative partnerships will help deliver a transformative change. The world committed to freeing the world from the tyranny of poverty. A first step is to ensure that the no one is left without the basic needs required to live a safe, healthy and productive life. Empowering communities to benefit from the provision of these services will help meet all of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Possible questions for discussion:
- What are some of the concrete steps countries can take when extending access to water, education and healthcare to ensure that their interventions are targeted to those in the lowest wealth quintile?
- Many believe that the state has the primary responsibility to extend basic services to the entire population. Do you agree with this premise? What are the roles of other actors such as the private sector and civil society and how do collaborative partnerships come into play?
- What kind of policies are needed to ensure long-term access to basic needs, instead of short-term gains based on projects?
2 For education see: ODI “Leaving no one behind: how the SDGs can bring real change” Briefing, March 2015; for water and sanitation see: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme “Country Wealth Quintiles” reporting, http://www.wssinfo.org/
3 “Human Development Report 2014, Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience” p. 85
4 Ibid, p. 86
- H.E. Mr. Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN and Vice President of ECOSOC
- Ms. Sarina Prabasi, CEO of WaterAid America
- Ms. Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education
- Mr. Michael Park, Director of Strategy and Operations of the Aspen Management Partnership for Health at the Aspen Institute
- Ms. Cristina Diez, Director of International Relations Training at the International Movement ATD Fourth World
- Ms. Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Chief of Staff and Head of the 2020 Vision Initiative at the International Food Policy Research Institute