Pro-poor sustainable development

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Joanna Mack Open University, UK

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Marco Pomati Cardiff University, UK

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In this issue, we are pleased to publish the first articles in what we hope will become an important theme of the journal, namely, the interrelationship between poverty and climate change. Both articles – which were first presented in the ‘Poverty and Climate Change’ panel at the 2022 Development Studies Association conference – examine how to measure progress towards inclusive and sustainable economic transformation in mid- and low-income countries, developing a range of indicators based on the three pillars of poverty and inequality, environmental sustainability and economic transformation to more developed and productive economies.

In ‘Inclusive, sustainable economic transformation: an analysis of trends and trade-offs’, Vidya Diwakar (2023) identifies five clusters of countries with differing levels of success in these three aspects. While some countries show moderate success across all the pillars, none are making strong progress. Indeed, the analysis suggests ‘that while labour productivity improvements and poverty reduction are closely correlated, these processes have typically not been environmentally sustainable’. There is a clear need for more sustainable forms of economic transformation and the article examines possible options, including pro-poor infrastructure development and identifying key sectors for carbon reduction.

These arguments are taken further in ‘In search of nexus triple wins: planning for and evidence of economic transformation, social inclusion and ecological sustainability in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Dominican Republic’, an accompanying Policy and Practice piece by Sam Pickard and Alberto Lemma (2023). These countries were chosen as they had showed some evidence of planning for triple nexus wins. However, the article concludes that ‘despite the case study countries having had nexus-related policy in place for years, nexus-related outcomes remained illusive at the national level as of 2019’. The article highlights possible limiting influences, including power structures opposed to these aims.

The disappointing outcomes identified in both articles point strongly to the need for more research into how to achieve the aim of pro-poor, sustainable development. We welcome submissions on this theme and look forward to publishing further articles in future issues.

As we outline in our first editorial (February, 2022, 30(1): 3–7) the climate crisis poses the greatest challenge to poverty reduction of our time, and the need for socially just transitions to net zero is essential. To re-emphasise, we would welcome pieces on the themes of how net zero transitions can be made equitable and how poverty reduction can be made environmentally sustainable.

In the meantime, we are again sure you will find plenty of interest in this issue. In ‘Poverty and agency among children in urban China’, Lichao Yang, Robert Walker and Guanli Zhang (2023), provide a fascinating insight into the extent to which, and ways in which, low-income children in two differing urban schools in China attempt to improve their lives and that of their families. While in ‘Stakeholders’ perspectives about national target programme for new rural development in Vietnam’, Thi Thuy Loan and Vu Bang Pham (2023) examine how important stakeholder involvement is for the successful implementation of poverty reduction plans. In a Policy and Practice piece, ‘Indonesia’s anti-extramarital sex legislation: why and how should policymakers respond to prostituition’, Jason Hung (2023) argues for the need for policymakers to tackle the socioeconomic drivers of engagement in sex work. And finally, in ‘Does moving to paid work make me a better mum? Mismatches between political and social ideologies of “good motherhood” and that of lone mothers in the UK making the transition from welfare to work’, Miyang Jun (2023) examines how dominant ideologies reinforce the pre-existing hierarchy of paid work and care, with the latter being viewed as deserving of less acknowledgement.

Joanna Mack and Marco Pomati, October 2023.

Funding

The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  • Diwakar, V. (2023) Inclusive, sustainable economic transformation: an analysis of trends and trade-offs, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 31850. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16845094996449

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  • Hung, J. (2023) Indonesia’s anti-extramarital sex legislation: why and how should policymakers respond to prostitution, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 41722. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16911706077120

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  • Jun, M. (2023) Does moving to paid work make me a better mum? Mismatches between political and social ideologies of ‘good motherhood’ and that of lone mothers in the UK, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 42342. doi: 10.1332/175982723X16914135711700

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pickard, S. and Lemma, A. (2023) In search of nexus triple wins: planning for and evidence of economic transformation, social inclusion and ecological sustainability in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 35171. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16916833771132

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thanh Tung, D., Thi Thuy Loan, N., Thi Cam Phuong, N. and Vu Bang, P. (2023) Stakeholders’ perspectives about national target programme for new rural development in Vietnam, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 396416. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16911705578909

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yang, L., Walker, R. and Zhang, G. (2023) Poverty and child agency in urban China, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 37295. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16914226083222

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Diwakar, V. (2023) Inclusive, sustainable economic transformation: an analysis of trends and trade-offs, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 31850. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16845094996449

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hung, J. (2023) Indonesia’s anti-extramarital sex legislation: why and how should policymakers respond to prostitution, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 41722. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16911706077120

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jun, M. (2023) Does moving to paid work make me a better mum? Mismatches between political and social ideologies of ‘good motherhood’ and that of lone mothers in the UK, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 42342. doi: 10.1332/175982723X16914135711700

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pickard, S. and Lemma, A. (2023) In search of nexus triple wins: planning for and evidence of economic transformation, social inclusion and ecological sustainability in Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 35171. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16916833771132

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thanh Tung, D., Thi Thuy Loan, N., Thi Cam Phuong, N. and Vu Bang, P. (2023) Stakeholders’ perspectives about national target programme for new rural development in Vietnam, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 396416. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16911705578909

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yang, L., Walker, R. and Zhang, G. (2023) Poverty and child agency in urban China, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 31(3): 37295. doi: 10.1332/175982721X16914226083222

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Joanna Mack Open University, UK

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Marco Pomati Cardiff University, UK

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