Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Breaking the Poverty Cycle : The Human Basis for Sustainable Development

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Pick and Sirkin show how IMIFAP, a Mexican NGO, has employed a development strategy to encourage the establishment of a participatory, healthy and educated citizenry. The program strategy is grounded in Amartya Sen's approach to sustainable development through expanding individual's capabilities and freedoms. It presents the Framework for Enabling Empowerment (FrEE) and the step by step strategy "Programming for Choice," based on the practical experience and evaluation of IMIFAP's programs. The end goal is to achieve sustainable community and individual development that can be expanded across a variety of life domains (social, economic, political, education, health and psychological). The book shows how community development can be enhanced if people are enabled to make accountable choices and expand their alternatives. International development efforts will not be sustainable if we continue to build schools without quality teachers; health clinics without enhancing logistical and psychological access and improving quality of care; and laws that are not enforced. Institutions will only flourish if their leaders and bureaucrats enhance their personal capabilities.
The central premise of the book is that enhancing skills, knowledge and reducing psychological and contextual barriers to change are central (and often neglected) aspects of sustainable development. IMIFAP was founded in 1984. Through its health promotion and poverty reduction work it has reached over 19 million people in 14 countries through over 40 different programs and over 280 educational materials with support from over 300 funding agencies and government and private institutions. Its mission is to enable society's poor and vulnerable to take charge of their lives through helping them develop their potential. We have found that through the IMIFAP "I want to, I can" programs people take the control of their lives in their own hands. Examples of these results are presented including numerous testimonies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 25.4mm | 272.15g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195383168
  • 9780195383164
  • 1,791,244

Review quote

Some may find it inspiring to read about how the authors have taken psychological ideas and implemented them into real-world interventions...the authors have convincingly shown that their programs are well thought out and are backed by years of hard work with many individuals in developing countries. * PsycCRITIQUES * Breaking the Poverty Cycle: The Human Basis for Sustainable Development, by Susan Pick and Jenna Sirkin, gives a great psychological contribution, especially for being generated in the Latin American scenario. Context, empowerment, choices, freedom and development abound. More than teaching us about culture and survival, it shows the ecological context of real people, their testimonies and choices. Empowerment and personal agency are regarded as manners of
enhancing opportunities and reducing barriers to development. The answer to the everyday challenge of those people is simply: 'I want to, I can,' and it comes out as a brave and hopeful clamour!"

- Silvia Koller, Professor, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul The book is rich in theories but it is even wealthier in experience. The concepts developed by Pick and Sirkin and their methodology are candidly subversive and may be very powerful tools for social change. Given the attention received by Sen's new book, The Idea of Justice, this is a timely publication and a useful practical complementary exercise."

- Rudolf Hommes, Former Colombian Finance Minister Psychology and developmental economics can make a difference, as Susan Pick and Jenna Sirkin demonstrate convincingly in this book. They describe a framework for sustainable development that is applicable from health education to entrepreneurship. The common theme is that people can take their life in their hands. The authors describe an amazingly rich variety of projects with often impressive outcomes among marginalized communities. This inspiring and insightful
book is highly recommended."

- A.J.R. van de Vijver, Professor of Psychology, Tilburg University
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About Jenna Sirkin

Dr. Pick is Professor at the Faculty of Psychology of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), has been an invited scholar at Universidad Anahuac, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico and Harvard University and has served as advisor to the Health, Education and Social Development Ministries of several Latin American countries. She is the founder and President of the Mexican Institute of Family and Population Research (IMIFAP). Her
publications are in areas such as research methodology, health and empowerment, community participation, life skills and competencies, psychological barrier reduction and sexuality education for children, adolescents and parents.
Dr. Pick holds the highest level (Level 3) in the National System of Researchers, and is also the former president of the Interamerican Society of Psychology (SIP).

Jenna T. Sirkin

Jenna is currently a health services researcher and a doctoral candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University and is also an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Doctoral Training Fellow. She has been employed and conducted research in the fields of public health, health services research and international development. Jenna received her M.A. from Brandeis University in Social Policy and her B.A. from Tufts University in International Relations
and Spanish with a concentration in Latin American studies. She was awarded the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in 2006 to support her research during her residence at the Mexican Institute of Family and Population Research (IMIFAP) in Mexico City.
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