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Thursday, April 27, 2006 

Virtual Round Table: Poverty Reduction Network


DURATION: 18 April – June 2006

GUEST MODERATORS: Dorothy Rosenberg, Policy Adviser, MDGs & Civil Society, UNDP, Bureau of Development Policy, Poverty Group, Email: dorothy.rosenberg@undp.org

Cindy Berman, Social Development Adviser, Policy Division, DFID, Email: c-berman@dfid.gov.uk



In September 2005 Poverty Reduction Network (PRN) Members selected ‘Social Inclusion: Strategies for targeting excluded groups’ as one of their top two priorities areas for discussion. This virtual round table is designed to bring together a variety of organizations, experts and practitioners working to confront social exclusion in developing countries. Round Table resource persons (listed below) will contribute their perspectives and experiences in the context of particular discussion questions. Members of the network, as always, are encouraged to share their own experiences and suggestions.


There are groups of people in all societies who are systematically disadvantaged because they are discriminated against. They are more likely to be denied access to income, assets and services. These persons suffer from social exclusion. Poverty reduction policies often fail to reach socially excluded groups unless they are specifically designed to do so. Rather than discuss individually socially excluded groups (such as the disabled, indigenous groups, women, ethnic minorities etc.) this discussion will focus on the challenges posed by social exclusion in the context of poverty reduction and the most effective strategies governments, civil society and donors can use to tackle these challenges.

The discussion will begin with arguments about why social exclusion matters for poverty reduction. The goal of the initial section is to agree on a working concept of social exclusion and articulate the case for prioritizing social exclusion as an approach for reducing poverty. The second part of the discussion will aim to share experiences with policies and programmes intended to confront social exclusion. Such efforts are divided into legal and regulatory frameworks, social protection, and improving access to high-quality services. The third section will focus specifically on the role of civil society in addressing social exclusion and the final section will focus on the additional challenges of addressing social exclusion in a post-conflict context.

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