From The Bottom Up: Toward a Strategy for Income and Employment Generation Among the Disadvantaged

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Report seeks to author a variety of program and sustainability strategies to foster poverty alleviation.

Authors posit there exist four types of poverty alleviation program models: Community-Based Finance, Self-Employment, Job Training & Placement, Job Creation & Placement. Policy findings note that programs discussed represent a new wave of thinking among innovative practitioners: i.e., that today’s economically disadvantaged citizens should be viewed as tomorrow’s producers and owners in the mainstream economy, and not as passive recipients of assistance.

Authors propose a “catalytic” view of development assistance as an empowerment vehicle that devolves responsibility for performance to clients while creating an atmosphere of dignity and respect, but also one of discipline and high expectation .Policy recommendations include proposal to decentralize government decision-making as a way to address regional imbalances in capacity for poverty alleviation and job development. This could involve the creation of regional entities (institutes perhaps), governed through representation of the federal, state and local government, philanthropy, industry and communities, with specialized staffs for training and program development and flexible financing authority.

Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group