Role of the Civil Society in Poverty Reduction Conference

01 Mar 2006

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UNDP and the Social Solidarity and Assistance General Directorate of the Turkish Prime Ministry organized a conference on Role of the Civil Society in Poverty Reduction: Risks and Opportunities for the Poor, on 17 February 2006.

New Horizons - The Conference provided an opportunity for Turkey’s key agencies for poverty reduction to identify areas of cooperation with civil society in both policy making and in service delivery.

Mevlut Bilici, General Director opened the seminar highlighting his agency’s interest and commitment to work with the international community. He added that the General Directorate’s cooperation with the civil society is legally well founded, and reflected in the establishment law of the Directorate.

Sarah Poole, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP, highlighted the importance of national responsibility in reduction of poverty and made reference to the UN Millennium Development Goals Report of last year, which calls for priority public investments for effective response to the needs of the poor.

Geoff Prewitt of the Bratislava Regional Centre of UNDP made an incisive presentation advocating for expanded civil society participation in monitoring assistance and participatory poverty surveys. Filiz Bikmen of the Third Sector Foundation presented the findings of several studies on public perceptions on the roles of civil society and state in poverty reduction.

This conference is within the context of the project entitled “Promotion of Cooperation in the Area of Social Assistance”. A web portal for pooling national experience in cooperation with the civil society and other issues has been available as of 1 March 2006.