Many interrelated factors influence whether families flourish. Reducing the number of people living in poverty is a complex challenge.
We believe systems change is an important approach to reducing poverty in a lasting way.
Given the focus of the Peter McKenzie Project, we are particularly interested in:
- systems which have an effect on family income – taxes, benefits, the factors that determine wage and salary levels, ability to save, access to decent jobs and to capital; and
- features of systems which make a poverty-free life harder to achieve for some groups than others.
Ways to change systems include:
Changing the rules:
e.g. building and ‘selling’ a case to create or change policies, laws, rules and practices, at national or local level;
Improving the ability of systems to learn and evolve:
e.g. strengthening links between different sectors and industries (schools, businesses, NGOs, banks etc) so that families in or near poverty benefit.
e.g. developing processes for people running a system to be better informed and guided by those the system exists to serve.
Changing structures, underlying values or goals:
e.g. increasing the priority given by society and its decision-makers to children and young people, and hence their caregivers.
e.g. building a groundswell of public opinion can help create a climate in which systems change is more likely.