Our aim is to combat poverty by working with others to empower individuals and communities to affect change in the distribution of power and resources.
We have four objectives for the period 2009-2012 that guide our work:
Poverty is a complex and dynamic phenomenon. In order to focus our activities the Poverty Alliance has identified three key areas that must be addressed in order to make progress in the fight against poverty:
Incomes: Low income is at the heart of our analysis of poverty, and access to an adequate income is essential to addressing poverty. Much of our work over the next three years will be focused on supporting policies and actions that increase the incomes of those currently living in poverty. Whilst working in partnership with other anti-poverty organisations, we will prioritise work to address low incomes amongst working age adults, who receive less attention in current policy. This focus will include both incomes in and out of work.
Services: People living on low incomes are more likely to rely on public services. A key policy focus over the next three years will be to ensure that people living on low incomes have access to high quality public services. Over the coming three years we will work to ensure that services used by and targeted at people experiencing poverty are defended and improved. Our primary concerns will be in the areas of employment services (including skills and training), health, regeneration, social work services and advice services.
Participation: We believe that the participation of people experiencing poverty is central to developing better policy solutions to poverty. We will therefore work to ensure that more participatory forms of policy development are created over the coming years. Our primary focus will be on the national level (in Scotland), but will also seek policy change that ensures that people are able to have their voices heard at the local level. We will also continue to work to embed more participatory approaches at both UK and European levels.
Attitudes: Public attitudes set the context in which we attempt to change anti-poverty policy. Increasingly, it has become clear that efforts to introduce more effective anti-poverty policies can be hindered by negative or discriminatory attitudes to people experiencing poverty. For example, if it is widely believed that poverty is inevitable, or that poverty is a result of ‘personal failure’, then it will be more difficult to create support greater public investment for policies to address poverty. We will therefore be involved in a range of activities to highlight where progress is being made to address poverty and to challenge negative and stereotypical views of people experiencing poverty.
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