Discussion Document: "Towards a National Anti-Poverty Agenda for Civil Society". Prepared by Isandla Institute for SANGOCO. Civil Society Platform of the National Poverty Forum, Workshop, 7-8 April 2000.
This discussion document provides a background resource to inform the deliberations of civil society organisations that are formulating a fresh and comprehensive national strategy to promote poverty eradication in South Africa. It proposes a coherent approach to the issue and presents basic evidence and trends that can inform a process of prioritising effective anti-poverty campaign elements. It is not exhaustive but meant to stimulate debate, provide context and pointers to enable the leaders and decision-makers to make informed political decisions about the future of the War Against Poverty Campaign.
The first section reflects on the success of a Kerala State in India, which has become an inspiration for development activists in the South advocating for effective poverty eradication in spite of the prevailing, even if retreating, neo-liberal economic dogma. It serves as a beacon for thinking beyond limits of 'the possible' and reinforces the imperative of finding locally specific and appropriate solutions. The rest of the document is structured into three sections, each dealing with a potential strategic plank of a coherent anti-poverty strategic framework. The three sections focus on: i) pro-poor macro economic policy; ii) pro-poor budgets and monitoring; iii) broad-based social safety net.