How to Solve Poverty in 10 Steps
The fight against global poverty can be a discouraging one. The number of people suffering is hard to imagine for most middle-class families. While there is a multitude of poverty-stricken individuals, things are not entirely bleak. Poverty rates have been falling in recent years, and the word is getting out. People can make a difference in this fight with the right approach. There are answers on how to solve poverty, and time is showing us just how effective they are.

  1. Improve the training of farmers
    It is so important for developing countries that their agriculture is not only thriving but is sustainable. Teaching sustainable techniques to farmers is one of the ways that demonstrates how to solve poverty, because when a country’s natural resources are at their top potential, so is its economy. Teaching methods to sustain agriculture, investing in proper equipment and instructing farmers on more efficient practices will also improve the quality of life for the farmers themselves.
  2. Establish gender equality
    When asking how to solve poverty globally, a trend keeps popping up: many poverty-stricken countries lack gender equality. The fact is that when women are allowed to participate in the economy through new laws, social acceptance and proper child care for their family, the country thrives. Since roughly half of any country’s population is made up of women, it is not only arguably a moral obligation, but a practical solution for how to solve poverty. Gender equality can mean getting religious leaders involved, spreading awareness through the country’s media with women depicted as capable and even educating the women themselves on their rights.
  3. Ensure clean water
    Having access to clean water is a huge factor in a country’s welfare. Not only does it need to be safe to drink, but it needs to be closer to people’s homes. While most middle-class citizens can just turn on a tap for clean water to pour out of, many poor families spend hours just trying to find water, and it is not always entirely clean. Investing in clean wells and water systems can not only ensure the safety of a country’s citizens but can free up their time, allowing them to better participate in the economy
  4. Reinstate good healthcare
    When a person is healthy, they can go to work, participate in community events (like voting or meetings) and can better contribute to society. Making sure a country has good healthcare is essential to alleviating poverty. This involves widespread vaccinations, investing in better hospitals and resources, training medical professionals and improving hygiene on a national level.
  5. Make education a priority
    A huge factor in how to solve poverty involves education. Lifting a country out of poverty means educating its citizens not only on basics like math and science, but on proper hygiene, gender equality, educating females equally, economic factors and investing in resources for schools. To better the school system in developing nations, not only do the resources and school building need to be improved, but the teachers need to be trained properly and paid. Encouraging school attendance and teacher certification will create a more conscious society, more jobs and better-equipped citizens in the fight against poverty.
  6. Make international aid a bigger part of legislation
    Not all countries can lift themselves out of poverty without help. Most will need aid from wealthier nations. Making that happen through legislation will ensure that funds go towards the struggle against poverty and will improve the global quality of life.
  7. Involve all sectors of the government in the developing country
    When it comes down to it, a nation struggling with poverty needs all hands on deck to resolve it. They need to have educators, businessmen and lawmakers all involved. This will help identify problems in a range of areas and will ensure that as much support as possible is being given.
  8. People abroad and domestically need to speak up
    People in struggling countries need to vote if they can for initiatives to help solve poverty (things like education funding and gender equality laws), and those abroad need to vote to make poverty a focal point of legislation. The government looks to the people for what is important, and if enough people vote on something such as international aid, then it will become a focus.
  9. Direct aid needs to be given
    Throwing money at a problem will never solve anything. Funds need to go to a direct cause. Rather than giving a foreign government money for clean water, fund a well-building project. Rather than giving money to a country to hire more teachers, send teachers in to train some. Do not give money for a solution; give them the solution. This helps sidestep corruption and delay.
  10. Keep the national market open to trade
    Ensure that the governments abroad are staying open to trade with developing countries. This will help fuel the struggling nation’s economy and create more jobs for that country. In the end, the wealthy country gains a new trading partner, and the developing country gains a sustainable way to grow its economy.

While the questions revolving around how to solve poverty are complex and face dead ends at times, there are solutions to the problem. Making sure that a solution is not only effective but sustainable is a priority that always needs to be met. The fight continues and will continue to be fought until all necessary steps are taken.

– Emily Degn

Photo: Flickr

How to Solve Poverty
The following is not a definite plan for how to solve poverty. There are many causes and factors to consider that promote and sustain impoverishment, thus there are also myriad of solutions. By embracing all possibilities related to global education and technology, we can put a sizable, irreparable dent into poverty.


How to Solve Poverty


Education for women: 70% of all women in the world live in poverty, and over 32 million women are considered “missing.” Poor health conditions, famine, and social injustice contribute greatly to the problem. Women work some of the most difficult but crucial hours worldwide, yet earn pennies on the dollar for their effort. This leads to desperation and informal employment which opens the door to problems like human trafficking. When women receive education, the results are indisputable: lower fertility and infant mortality rates, less instance of sexually transmitted disease, and a greater chance of employment and contributions to local economies. The benefits of female education are much broader than male education.

Using Positive Deviance: Somewhere in every community lives a person or a family that is not poor for a reason. Finding those positive deviants in the community and letting others around them learn from their experience is becoming a very popular approach in places. Lewiston Elementary in Utah is one of 300 schools to be nationally recognized for outstanding academics, despite the fact that half of their students are poor and 10% speak English as a second language. The kids consistently exceed what is expected of them all due to how they are taught, which includes, “…small group instruction; an evidence-based reading curriculum; progress monitoring; parent involvement; and instructional coaching.” Other schools have begun to take note of Lewiston’s success.

Entertainment Education: One might not immediately see the correlation between entertainment and poverty, but when considering impoverished or uneducated children, it becomes highly apparent. Education is clearly a poverty deterrent, thus using the media to promote education in communities in ways that will entertain can have major impacts. A well known example of this is the television program Sesame Street, watched the world over by young, hungry minds. Other prosocial programs and themes have been used with great results in the developing world, ranging from simple radio programs to a project called Soul City which has been running in South Africa for years. One organization leading the way with entertainment education is Population Media Center.

– David Smith

Sources: Women and Poverty, Learning The Lessons of Sesame Street
Photo: Infosur Hoy