Poverty & Governance

The ability of governments to link with its citizens remains a key challenge for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Through our work on institutional capacity building, participation and pro-poor change, women and poor people empowerment, we support efforts on building efficient and accountable public sector institutions

astro has particular strengths in negotiating and facilitating multi-stakeholder processes and enabling institutionalization of more inclusive and participatory approaches to sustainable development.

  • Social analysis

Social analysis describes a wide range of methodologies for contextualized analysis of poverty which share a common focuses on issues of equity and social sustainability for improved social development outcomes.

Good social analysis reveals complex relationships among different groups and, focusing on assets and livelihoods, it asks how people perceive, act on and negotiate their interests.

astro uses social analysis to mainstream issues of social inclusion into project design and monitoring & evaluation (M&E) and as a starting point for participatory processes. We have specific expertise in analyzing culturally diverse settings and issues of exclusion and poverty among ethnic minorities.

  • Livelihoods

Put simply, livelihoods are the ways in which people make a living and the resultant quality of their lives. The way people make a living is defined by what they have (e.g. land, education, skills, access to financial resources, social networks, etc) and external forces including risks (e.g. illness, market prices, and natural disasters)14 and a dynamic set of political and institutional factors. astro expertise in this area is based on our breadth of expertise across major areas of development. We combine skills in social development, health, natural resources management, economics, governance, and institutions with work that spans direct engagement at community and national policy levels.

  • Rural Governance

Governance presents particular challenges in rural areas due to problems with: distance, not least from seats of government; communications; provision of services to scattered and remote citizens; and traditional power relations, often linked to ownership and access to natural resources.15

astro expertise in rural governance relates to both our experience in working local government and community groups, and to our monitoring and evaluation work.

  • Participatory Approaches

Participation is a process where stakeholders influence and share control over priority setting, policy-making, resource allocations and access to public goods and services. astro works in a variety of ways to promote stakeholder participation for more sustainable resource management and poverty reduction. 16
astro specific expertise includes facilitation of participatory processes as part of project cycle management, training and capacity building; developing tailor-made approaches to participation for analysis, planning and M&E; mainstreaming participation in larger programs and institutional capacity building for pro-poor change.

  • Poverty Analysis

The multi-dimensional nature of poverty requires analysis by various indicators and methods, using quantitative and qualitative approaches. SSDC uses poverty analysis to integrate issues of poverty into the project cycle and for developing results based monitoring systems which are capable to assess program impacts on poverty. Our specific expertise is on developing key performance indicators on poverty and conducting poverty baseline studies.17

Participatory poverty analysis can improve understanding of poverty significantly because it focuses on the perspectives of the poor. We have developed approaches to participatory poverty analysis as part of an overall approach to empowering the poor.

  • Community Driven Development

Community driven development (CDD) is an approach, particularly in large rural development programmed, which puts communities and local government in control of the development process. In particular, control over planning decisions and investment resources. CDD brings together, in a practical manner, participatory approaches, subsidiary in governance, community empowerment, responsive government, and local capacity building.18
Experience has shown that given appropriate financial support, poor men and women can effectively work together and with local government to organize themselves and address local problems. Astro has worked on CDD projects. This has involved developing systems for community-government interaction in small scale infrastructure development, monitoring and recommending improvements to CDD implementation modalities, and designing CDD interventions for loan-funded poverty reduction programs.

  • Islamic micro financing

Islamic micro financing (IMF) is used to build up the capacity of those people who have skill but due to financial constraint they are not properly utilizing their resources. At the reason of empty or not fully utilization of their skill society not only bears cost of those skills but also society does not get their desire/ required results and production. So Astro will provide as best platform to those skill labors who need financial support through IMF.

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