The realization of the human development potential of Roma

Oct 3, 2014

PHOTO: NENA LUKIN/UNDP CROATIA


The analytical paper 'Roma Poverty from Human Development Perspective’; authored by Andrey Ivanov and Justin Kagin was presented on 29-30 September in Sarajevo, as a part of 27th International Steering Committee of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. 

The most recent publication in UNDP’s “Roma Inclusion Working Papers” series builds on the collective work of many researchers, policy makers and activists involved in United Nations Development Programme’s projects aimed at promoting an integrated approach to the realization of the human development potential of Roma. 

'Roma Poverty from Human Development Perspective’ analyses various possible answers to the question 'What is poverty?', whose simplicity, as is apparent in the case of Roma, might be misleading. Therefore, the paper explores the various aspects of Roma deprivation via the design and application of a multidimensional poverty index.

It can provide evidence that enables a better understanding of the underlying factors determining poverty, and thus help to create policies to overcome them. While income poverty or sectoral measures may offer compelling evidence of the numerous disadvantages facing Roma, poverty among Roma is not just about inadequate financial resources, unemployment, sub-standard housing, or poor access to social services. It is a combination of all these factors, compounded by prejudice and discrimination, and by limited opportunities to participate in political processes. 

The multidimensional nature of Roma poverty calls for a “human development” approach that can integrate the reduction of material deprivation with the achievements in the field of human rights, anti-discrimination and social exclusion.