Poverty, Democracy and Development
By S. K. Rao
The Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development was established by the Commonwealth Secretary-General in pursuance of the following mandate by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Coolum, Australia, in March 2002: "Recognising the links between democracy and good governance on the one hand, and poverty, development and conflict on the other, we call on the Commonwealth Secretary-General to constitute a high-level expert group to recommend ways in which we could carry forward the Fancourt Declaration. This group should focus on how democracies might best be supported in combating poverty, and should report to the next CHOGM [i.e. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting]." The Group was chaired by the Hon Dr Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister of India.This paper was written as a background note for the Expert Group (immediately prior to the first meeting) and as such it was very important in clarifying some of the major themes which were discussed in the deliberations of the Group.The note is in four parts: Part A reviews the extent of poverty and outlines some of the particular challenges confronting democracies in the current historical situation. Part B discusses the links between conflict, poverty and development on the one hand and democracy and good governance on the other, and possible ways by which support may be provided to democracies in combating poverty. Part C discusses possible strategies for winning global support, and the role of the Commonwealth in mobilising such support. Part D provides a summary of issues for the consideration of the Expert Group.Dr Rao is an eminent economist who worked for both the Indian Government and Commonwealth Secretariat for many years. He is now the Principal of the Administrative Staff College of India in Hyderabad.
Publication Date: 1/1/2004