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Urban Poverty Alleviation and Social Policies

Singapore Workshop

January 12–13, 1999
Co-hosted by the World Bank and
The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Abstracts of Papers Presented

Urban Poverty Alleviation and Social Policies
Diana Mitlin and David Satterthwaite, Institute for Environment and Development

This paper reviews the literature and the evidence on two sets of interrelated questions. First, it discerns the links between urban poverty (or its reduction) and factors such as the pace of urbanization, the industrial or size characteristics of cities and foreign direct investment. Second, what measures can reduce urban poverty and what roles does this imply for community initiatives, for local authorities and for central government. The first part of the paper is a definition of poverty, which builds on recent work on social exclusion, and that emphasizes both the dynamics of poverty as well as its multidimensional nature. It reviews the evidence on the links between poverty, urbanization and globalization, and provides a wealth of examples of community initiatives for poverty alleviation.

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