Literacy: A foundational element of a poverty reduction strategy

By Ted Bruce

BooksIn the current election we see almost random program promises to address issues related to poverty. These are necessary but not sufficient to make a substantial change. A comprehensive poverty reduction strategy is about a lot more than small increases in welfare rates or small increments in early childhood services for children. That is why the PHABC position calls for a COMPREHENSIVE approach. What are needed is a bold vision and an all of society approach led by a dedicated minister and a plan with target and timelines. Without a comprehensive plan some fundamental elements of success will be missed.

Take literacy for example. One seldom hears literacy discussed as part of a poverty reduction strategy although it is almost foundational to creating sustainable change. Without strengthening literacy in society we do not get upstream of one of the critical areas of disadvantage for many adults in our society. The fact sheets about literacy, health literacy and poverty highlight (see links below) highlight the importance of tackling literacy as a poverty reduction strategy. Its time we stopped a piecemeal approach to poverty reduction and truly invested in a bold approach – one that is comprehensive and sustainable. It will pay for itself many times over.

Fact Sheet: Literacy and Poverty | Decoda Literacy Solutions | March 2013

Fact Sheet: Health Literacy | Decoda Literacy Solutions | March 2013