Poverty, Politics, and Participatory Methodologies in SDC

This Collaboration with the Quality Assurance (QA) Programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is now in its second phase, running until December 2018. The aim of the program is to improve the quality and effectiveness of SDC processes and operations focused on poverty.

SDC sees poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon whose causes are often inherently political and are reproduced through the multi-faceted power relations that work against poor and marginalised people. It is aware of the politics of interventions and aid relationships, and seeks to design policies and strategies that work for the poor. SDC’s new Bill on development cooperation (2017-2020) is hence underpinned by a more comprehensive view of the multi-dimensional and relational nature of poverty and vulnerability.

In this Collaboration, IDS is supporting SDC staff, headquarters and country offices to keep up to speed with evolving understandings of the nature and dynamics of poverty, vulnerability and exclusion. It is assisting them in gaining a more participatory understanding of poverty and vulnerability, which supports processes that make the role of politics and power in the production and reproduction of poverty more transparent. In doing so it is helping to enable interventions that more effectively tackle the root causes of poverty. The Collaboration uses an ‘organisational learning and change’ approach to accompanying SDC activities, which is reflective, demand-based and rooted in the realities of SDC’s work.

Key contact

Marina Apgar photo

T: +44 (0)1273 915778

E: m.apgar@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Elizabeth O'Brien

T: +44 (0)1273 915813

E: e.o'brien@ids.ac.uk

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Marjoke Oosterom

E: m.oosterom@ids.ac.uk

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Partner organisations

+41 31 322 34 75
Project Dates:
January 2015 - December 2018
Project Status:
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Research Themes / Programmes:
Participatory methodologies
Politics and Power