Jacqueline Novogratz’s approach to ending poverty is one that is enlightening and powerful. Novogratz realizes that poverty is more than just a lack of money and income. It is a much deeper and complex issue. She has defined poverty as a condition of choice, and lack of freedom. And since the definition of poverty involves more than just money, so does the solution to eradicating poverty.
Though out her TedTalk, Novogratz makes her main message very clear. She stresses that donating aid is a helpful measure to ending poverty, however, it is not a means to an end. Instead, eliminating poverty requires further execution. It is critical that beyond the financial assistance we build systems directly on the land of destitute societies. These systems must provide the communities affordable goods and services while also being financially stable and scalable. It is not until this change is made that we will truly see nations pull themselves out of poverty and work their way up to economic stability.
On the topic of economic stability, also comes the conversation of Sustainable Development Goals(SDGSs). These unique goals, established by the United Nations, are not only critical for this planet but also for humanity. Without the direction and steps that these goals provide, the future of economic and social development could bear very detrimental consequences.
Overall SDGs serve as a guide to developing an overall healthy world: economically, socially, and environmentally. These goals recognize how each of these realms is interconnected and therefore, illustrate the importance of focusing on all three areas in order to improve our planet as a whole.
These goals also help unify a world made up of many nations with the hope of accomplishing a worldwide vision. They also combine the efforts of governments, international institutions, and nongovernmental organizations to help make these complex goals possible.
Ultimately, SDGs envision and aim to create a sustainable and prosperous world for all living and non-living things.
Unfortunately, one threat to the vision of SDG’s includes neo-liberalism. In the big scheme of things, this system threatens society’s progress when it shifts control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. This economic change leads to increased poverty and inequality, which then leads to the potential exploitation of environmental resources as a result of poverty-induced constraints. The effects of the system counteract the goals of sustainable development.
During sporting games, when players are on a bench it means they are not actively playing with their team. When John McArthur talks about “Players on the Bench”, in his article, “Own the Goals”, he is referring to major players in the global fight to end poverty who have “sat out” during major MDG efforts.
Some of those players McArthur call out include American leaders, such as President George W. Bush and State Department officials, as well as the World Bank. While he acknowledges some of their efforts, he criticizes them for missing out on key opportunities that were a part of UN initiatives. Many of these key players opted out of chances to fully take advantage od MDG’s because of their own hesitancy. However, McArthur also recognizes that these “Players on the Bench” are stepping back on the field, after realizing the success that their fellow teammates are having in the game against poverty.
In the article, “How to Help Poor Countries”, eliminating poverty is examined. While many are rest assured that aid is the answer to solving this major global problem, this reality is that aid is not sufficient. Instead, developing countries need to rely less on the temporary help from others and more on internal factors. By figuring out how to make important alterations within their own societies, like improving infrastructure and public welfare, poverty stricken nations can produce real, independent change. Ultimately, a struggling country must learn how to heal on its own if it wants the healing to be permanent and effective.
Jeffrey Sachs. The Age of Sustainable Development. Chapter One
John W. McArthur: “Own the Goals – What the Millennium Development Goals have Accomplished”, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2013
Nancy Birdsall, Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian (2005). “How to Help Poor Countries.”