Report 2005/1: Evaluation of the participation of people living in poverty in the Brussels report on the state of poverty

This report follows the university survey carried out in 2004 by researcher Marie Bourgeois and the promoter Henk Meert of ISEG-KULeuven in co-operation with the Health and Social Observatory.

Since the general report on poverty published 10 years ago, a policy to combat poverty is no longer conceivable without the participation of people experiencing poverty. However, few organisations have succeeded in organising such a participation in an acceptable way for all the partners. In addition, their participation is only meaningful if the aim is to improve the living conditions of poor people. This is a considerable stumbling block, not only because the situation can hardly be said to be getting better, but also because the change process is so slow and this makes it very difficult to provide feed-back. Moreover, the feed-back is inadequate.

This report underscores the importance of the participation of the various stakeholders in the Brussels poverty report, including that of poor people, whose participation has specific requirements. The participation objective can in no event replace democratic deliberation processes. However, it must be possible to ensure that a consultation structure has a genuine place in this process.

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