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Reality Checks Mozambique raises the important “bottom-up” perspective on the development agenda

Display panel discussion
From left: Finn Tarp (UNU-WIDER), Susanne Spets (Embassy of Sweden in Uganda), George Adu (Nordic Africa Institute), Razia Khan (Standard Chartered), Inge Tvedten (Chr. Michaelsen Institute) and Annika Sundén (Sida)

"Small changes are incredibly important for the individual", Inge Tvedten, Christian Michaelsen Institute

During the most recent Sida Development Talks “Africa Rising? Poverty and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa”, team leader Inge Tvedten and team member Minna Touminen, presented the final report of Reality Checks in Mozambique, financed by Sida and implemented by ORGUT Consulting together with Chr. Michaelsen Institute and COWI. SIPU and ORGUT share the belief that qualitative studies like this are highly important to ensure that adequate information about poor and marginalised people’s own perspective is brought forward in the development community. The evaluation methodology of the Reality Check Approach (RCA) constitutes an important part of SIPU International’s evaluation unit, and we have conducted similar assignments over the years, including CSO Reality Check: A multi-year results-oriented evaluation of Sida’s support to CSOs in developing countries via Swedish CSOs. The unit participated together with the RCA Mozambique team by sharing information about the approach in general. 

Reality Checks Mozambique mapped the perceived, and actual, development in the districts of Cuamba, Lago and Majune in the Niassa province. The findings point to an overall, but unequal, positive development in terms of poverty and well-being in all three districts. There is huge potential in the argiculture sector and a demand for investing in social relationships and spreading risks, states Inge and Minna.

"Development is not a pretty process and it requires a long-term perspective", Finn Tarp, UNU-WIDER

During the Development Talks, the World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) launched a new book on poverty and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Through an extensive study of 16 countries in the region, comprising approximately 75% of the population, the researchers investigated the relation between poverty and growth and recognized that growth is necessary but not sufficient. The book is accessible free of charge here.

The participants of the Development Talks stressed the importance of agriculture, but also entrepreneurship and social relationships, as means to levelling out inequality. Sida and the development community need to maintain their focus on poverty reduction, which the panel agreed is diminishing. Revisiting Inge’s quote, that small changes are incredibly important for the individual, one has a reason to remain optimistic.

For more information about the Reality Checks in Mozambique and to access all the reports, click here.

 

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