SESRIC supported and participated in the International Symposium on Poverty Alleviation Strategies: Experiences and New Ideas, which was held in Istanbul, Turkey during the period 13-15 October 2010. The Symposium was hosted by the Prime Ministry General Directorate of Social Assistance and Solidarity of the Republic of Turkey, and brought together social scientists from different disciplines, researchers, national/international experts from public/private sector, representatives from international organisations and NGOs.
The main objective of the Symposium was to strengthen the awareness on combating poverty in all segments of the society and increase the potential cooperation among both governmental and non-governmental organisations at national and international level. SESRIC was represented by Mr. Mehmet Fatih Serenli, Director of Training and Technical Cooperation Department, and Mr. Mazhar Hussain, Researcher, thereat.
Mr. Hussain submitted a paper on the “State of Poverty in OIC Member Countries” where he investigated the state of poverty and prevalence of undernourishment in these countries, and analysed the progress so far made by the member countries towards achieving the MDGs target of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. He highlighted that despite this remarkable progress, poverty situation remained alarming in OIC member countries, some suffering from higher incidence of poverty and hunger. He concluded that at intra OIC level, member countries should enhance cooperation both in terms of financial and technical support, to assist those lagging behind, as well as helping each other by sharing best practices and by providing capacity building services to improve the process of assessment of progress towards achieving the MDGs.
Mr. Serenli made a presentation on “The Role of Vocational Training in Poverty Alleviation” where he underlined the importance of education and training in poverty alleviation among other financial and developmental instruments. He stated that approaches built on existing vocational training structures and community development approaches to enhance skills had been proven to be very effective in poverty alleviation, allowing vocational schools to accept a new role in a local network which promotes business and self-employment opportunities rather than concentrating exclusively on traditional initial vocational training tasks. In this regard, he mentioned about the Vocational Education and Training Programme for OIC Member Countries (OIC-VET), a programme originally designed and developed by SESRIC and officially launched by the COMCEC Economic Summit held in Istanbul in November 2009, as an international collaborative programme that aims at increasing the quality of national VET systems and generating more employment opportunities for the poor.
The Symposium was carried out within the context of main themes stated below:
- New ideas and new trends for poverty alleviation
- Human capacity building in poverty alleviation
- Cooperation for poverty alleviation
- Designing efficient poverty alleviation programs
- Impact assessments of poverty alleviation programs
Poverty alleviation is one of the priority developmental issues highlighted in the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action to Meet the Challenges Facing Muslim Ummah in the 21th Century adopted during the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Makkah al-Mukarramah in 2005.
For more information about the Symposium please visit the official website: http://poverty2010istanbul.org/