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Eradicating poverty in the Global South

Academics, policymakers and practitioners from Europe, Southern Africa, South America and North America will gather at The Open University on 4 December to discuss how to eradicate poverty in the Global South through regional approaches to health and social policy.

The delegates will address preliminary research findings from the Poverty Reduction and Regional Integration (PRARI) project which is looking at how Southern regional organisations are involved in the fight against poverty. It has been working with stakeholders in the South to develop regional monitoring systems to track policy change and success in the area of health.

Led by Professor Nicola Yeates in The OU’s International Development research priority area, PRARI, funded by the Department for International Development and the Economic and Social Research Council, explores the scope to enhance the effectiveness of regional alliances. It has a particular focus on those in the South such as the Southern African Development Community and Union of South American Nations, in tackling poverty and promoting socially equitable, inclusive development. 

“We are looking at poverty in two regions of the world: Southern Africa and South America,” said Professor Yeates. “This is about what countries can achieve when they act together through regional blocs to address poverty, access to healthcare and social inequality.”

These questions are especially timely given renewed commitments to poverty eradication by 2030 on the part of the international community. The Sustainable Development Goals, which come into force in January 2016, acknowledge the importance of greater regional interconnectivity and the potential of regional alliances of nations in translating the 17 goals into concrete actions for inclusive development.

“The elimination of poverty needs strong leadership at the regional level, as well as at global, national and local levels, and coordination between them”, Professor Yeates adds. “Comprehensive and robust regional social policies are needed to achieve the development goals. The evidence is that Southern regions are already making headway. They have the capability to do more but need support by all actors, locally, nationally and internationally. Our vision for eradication of poverty in the Global South is for strengthened regional associations of nations which have enough power and resources to make a real difference to key issues such as healthcare and social protection.”

The OU’s International Development research priority area has a mission to support sustainable development by researching what works best in local environments, which is the essence of the PRARI project.

Read about PRARI.

Read out OU research in International Development.

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