Workshop on “Innovative Solutions to Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the Poor”
Date: 26-28 June 2013
Venue: Ankara - Türkiye

Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) in collaboration with Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) organised a workshop on “Innovative Solutions to Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the Poor”, on 26-28 June 2013, in Ankara, Republic of Turkey. The workshop took place in the Headquarters of SESRIC.

The meeting took place with the participation of high and medium level economists, managers, and experts from different ministries of 27 OIC Member Countries, namely, Afghanistan, Benin, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Chad, Cameroon, Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Palestine, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen.

There were also international institutions operating in the field of poverty such as Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) , Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), OXFAM , Bank of Khartoum (BOK), Asian Development Bank (ADB), National Development and Planning Agency, Arab Economic Development Bank (BADEA), International Anatolia Health Federation (USAF) and Aegean International Federation of Health (ESAFED), in order to share their successful and innovative models in poverty reduction, as well as, brainstorm on how best to integrate and replicate these models on a sustainable basis.

The main objectives of the workshop were to showcase proven poverty reduction solutions which can be scaled-up and replicated in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member Countries, and to broker meaningful partnerships between policy-makers, academicians and practitioners in order to facilitate the development of a relevant future course on reducing poverty in these countries. The workshop will focus on the following themes including:

  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Financial Inclusion, Entrepreneurship and Business Development
  • Infrastructure for the Poor
  • Human Development: Social Policy and Health

At the opening session, Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, welcomed the participants of this significant gathering and expressed SESRIC’s gratitude to ISFD and TIKA for their cooperation in the implementation of this important meeting.

Prof. Alpay underlined that poverty is still considered as one of the most serious challenges facing the humanity today and it is a multi‐dimensional phenomena and a result of a complex socio‐economic and political structure of a particular country. He also mentioned that poverty is more than poor people; it is associated with poor economies, poor human resources, poor social services provision, and poor policies to tackle the challenges facing human and socio‐economic development and hence the status, the determinants, and the policy measures required to eradicate poverty would, by definition, vary from one country to another.

Prof. Alpay mentioned that the recent estimates indicate that one billion people worldwide are undernourished; the majority of them are in the developing regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the majority of the OIC member countries are located in these regions and it is quite evident that a significant portion of those poor and undernourished people resides in OIC countries, particularly in the Least‐developed and low‐income members. Prof. Alpay voiced that currently, 21 out of the world 48 LDCs are OIC members. 18 OIC member countries are classified as low‐income countries and 22 as Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs). As for the indicators of poverty Prof. Alpay stated that estimates express that there are almost 400 million people (23%of OIC total population) living below the income poverty threshold of 1.25$ a day and 583million people (40% of OIC total population) below the poverty threshold of 2$ a day.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Serdar Çam, President of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), expressed his satisfaction from co-organising the workshop. Mr. Çam stated that the workshop would be excellent opportunity for sharing best practices and experience across OIC Member Countries in the area of poverty alleviation.

At the opening session, Dr. Ahmet Tıktık, Vice President of Islamic Development Bank, welcomed the contributors of this substantial congregation and voiced ISFD’s appreciation to SESRIC and TIKA for their cooperation. Dr. Tıktık drew attention to challenging issues such as; insufficiency of safe water, sanitation and agricultural products, fragility of food supply services and lack of skilled human capital that Islamic World currently facing. Dr. Tıktık also mentioned that the ISFD is trying to find solutions to poverty reduction through scientific methods. Dr. Tıktık shared institutional practices with participants and encouraged participants to share their experiences during the workshop.

The participants expressed their satisfaction and adopted a number of recommendations in regard with Agriculture and Food Security, Financial Inclusion, Infrastructure Development, Human Development, Impact Evaluation and Partnerships to be undertaken as future proceedings of the workshop.



  • Opening Statement of Prof. Savaş Alpay, Director General, SESRIC (English)


Keynote Plenary

  • Impact Evaluation for Social Inclusion (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) (English)
  • Human Capacity Development for Poverty Alleviation: SESRIC Innovative Approaches (SESRIC) (English)

Agriculture & Food Security

  • Food and nutrition security is central for economic development in OIC member countries (IFPRI) (English)
  • Agriculture and Food Security: Lessons Learned and Future Steps (UN-FAO) (English)
  • Contractual farming for poverty alleviation (IFAD) (English)
  • State of Agriculture and Food Security in OIC Member Countries (SESRIC) (English)

Financial Inclusion, Entrepreneurship & Business Development

  • Oxfam’s Work in Empowering Smallholder Farmers (OXFAM) (English)
  • Innovation in Islamic Microfinance Business (Bank of Khartoum) (English)
  • Microcredit: Miracle or Disaster? (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) (English)

Infrastructure Development for the Poor

  • Making Infrastructure More Inclusive: The Asian Experience with Transport (ADB) (English)
  • Financing Renewable Energy Initiatives in Bangladesh (IDCOL) (English)

Human Development

  • Poverty Reduction Effort Through Community Empoverment (BAPPENAS) (English)
  • Turkish Experience for Poverty Alleviation and Enhancing Human Capital (Ministry of Family and Social Policies-Turkey) (English)
  • Evaluating the Relevance Of Conditional Cash Transfers in IsDB Poverty Programme (IDB) (English)
  • Fighting poverty: what have we learned? (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) (English)
  • The State of Health in OIC Countries: Challenges & Prospects for Cooperation (SESRIC) (English)



Live TV Interview with Prof. Savas Alpay, Director General of SESRIC