Organization: Poverty Stoplight USA
Country: United States of America
Project Name: Poverty Stoplight USA
The Poverty Stoplight is a tool integrated in a technology platform that seeks to activate the potential of families and communities to lift themselves out of poverty. Poverty Stoplight is different from other anti-poverty programs in that: (i) the evaluation’s indicators are self-assessed by the individuals and families who participate, (ii) it includes measures of agency and organization, and (iii) it is designed to cover only those indicators that are actionable by the family members themselves. The goal of this two-year project is to establish Poverty Stoplight in the United States by recruiting, training, and supporting organizations that serve the poor and are ready to invest in an approach to poverty eradication based on self-sufficiency.
Poverty is difficult to escape in part because welfare systems inadvertently serve to keep individuals dependent. Poverty Stoplight aims to help people participate in the market economy, rather than becoming trapped by programs that are overly bureaucratic and inefficient. The key of the approach is to trust families, respect low-income people, and know that they will make the decisions that will work best for them. Poverty Stoplight enhances the freedom of the individual to take advantage of opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty by enhancing their “critical agency.” To alleviate poverty in the US and beyond, it is essential that the discussion around poverty shift to the capabilities of the poor rather than their weaknesses.