The work of parliament and parliamentarians is changing within most nations: they grow stronger as many countries develop better structures and processes but weaker in the sense that many citizens become more disillusioned with their political leaders. An engaged democracy is essential for the most overarching social and economic development goals and especially those concerned with poverty reduction and challenging inequalities.
'Getting to Zero' extreme poverty involves ensuring that the policies, institutions and politics are right for the poorest people to escape poverty. As the reduction in the global number of people in poverty illustrates, there are widespread stories of success. We know much about how, and why, some households escape poverty and others do not.
We know that gender matters for the incidence of poverty, ignorance and disease. In developing countries, boys tend to be favoured in access to schooling and health care. Women earn less than men and women also work longer hours than men. What are not understood so clearly however are the critical factors for determining resource allocation within the home.