Engaging with and assisting marginalised communities remains a major challenge for governments of developing countries, as many national development strategies tend in practice to further marginalise chronically poor communities. Development aid strategies, including poverty-reduction initiatives, have focused primarily on economic development. As a result they have contributed to the erosion of the asset base of these communities, and in particular their access to natural resources. While questioning the impact of aid arrangements on the poorest and most vulnerable communities in society, this article recognises that current aid arrangements, such as national poverty-reduction strategies, have created an environment in which chronic poverty can be addressed by national governments and other stakeholders. The authors emphasise the need for greater sensitivity in the processes of planning and managing national development strategies that seek to reduce poverty, as well as a commitment to institutional arrangements that include marginalised groups in the country’s political economy.
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