Inequality Challenge – Innovative Solutions to a Global Issue
Against the backdrop of rising inequalities, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) initiated the Inequality Challenge – Innovative Solutions to a Global Issue. The Inequality Challenge is a fund that supports innovative approaches, methods and tools that focussed on reducing inequality and on the poorest and most marginalised people and groups.
BMZ launched the Inequality Challenge in March 2018 with a call for applications and supported 10 projects that tackle inequality and LNOB in innovative ways in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, Jordan, Serbia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Brazil and Mexico. Each project was funded with up to 100,000 EUR and ran for up to 15 months. The Funding phase ended in November 2019.
Today, 75% of the population in the Global South live in countries where inequality has increased since the 1990s. Even where inequality has been successfully reduced, it remains considerably high. This global trend threatens the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development in all its dimensions.
The 2030 Agenda principle of ‘leave no one behind’ (LNOB) shines the spotlight on those who have not yet benefited from poverty reduction. LNOB combines ending poverty in all its forms (SDG 1) with reducing inequality (SDG 10), as it puts an emphasis on the poorest and most vulnerable people and groups. The poorest face a variety of barriers to full participation in social, political, cultural and economic life. They have limited access to health care, education and basic services, and are often stigmatised and discriminated against. This combination – also referred to as ‘intersecting inequalities’ – creates particularly high barriers that prevent the poorest from escaping poverty.
The explicit focus of the 2030 Agenda on LNOB and reducing inequality creates new challenges. How can international cooperation contribute to reducing inequality while at the same time targeting the overarching principle of ‘leave no one behind’? Which policies and strategies promise the highest leverage?