Author(s): Xavier Godinot
The failure of attempts to tackle global poverty have bred cynicism and 'compassion fatigue'. Eradicating Extreme Poverty provides an urgently needed fresh approach which will re-energise action on this issue. Rejecting traditional 'top-down' approaches, Xavier Godinot and his colleagues start from the experiences, capabilities and strategies of the poor themselves. They argue that the first step is a close connection with poor communities followed by a commitment to take action alongside them. Life-stories from Burkina Faso, France, Peru and the Philippines are used to show that the poor must be involved in their own liberation. After decades of failed development policies, this book outlines a radical new approach which will enliven debate amongst policy-makers, researchers, students and academics.
This gem of a book gets under the skin of poverty. Years accompanying poor people in four countries in their daily struggle for survival reveal a world far more complex and fascinating than the $1-a-day platitudes of the conventional aid debate. Above all it shows the human reality of poverty: the endless struggle for respect, and against indignity and stigma. Read it to learn what development should be about. -- Duncan Green, head of research, Oxfam Great Britain This important publication argues convincingly that extreme poverty is a human rights crisis that demands urgent commitments from states to respect, protect and fulfil human rights for all. The book highlights the importance of engaging individuals directly as advocates for change to address extreme poverty in their own communities and for their fellow citizens. -- Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International A valuable addition to the literature, this book gives credence to the voices of people living in extreme poverty. ATD Fourth World's long-term presence in communities living alongside those in the most extreme poverty makes it possible for them to gain deep insight into the knowledge held by these key, yet difficult to reach families. It is vital reading for all those working to end poverty. -- Deepa Narayan, Director, Voices of the Poor project and former Senior Adviser at the World Bank ATD Fourth World has done, for decades, quietly effective work with the poorest of the poor, in France and elsewhere in the world. The organization's core belief is that extreme poverty can and must be eradicated. Building on that experience, this book offers a path towards the eradication of extreme poverty, and makes a compelling case for why we have no choice but trying. -- Esther Duflo, Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT
Xavier Godinot works at the headquarters of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, where he was director of its Research Institute for twelve years. He coordinates anti-poverty projects in Southern and Northen countries, with families living in rubbish dumps, under bridges and in slums. He has edited several books about poverty in the North and the South.