What is SDG1? Sustainable Development Goal #1 - "End poverty in all its forms everywhere". SDG1 is part of the 17 United Nations goals (SDGs) as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN goal encourages "country-specific programmes to tackle poverty and international efforts supporting national efforts, as well as the parallel process of creating a supportive international environment" to eradicate poverty. Some of the top priority actions towards poverty eradication include increasing access to sustainable livelihoods, access to productive resources, access to entrepreneurial opportunities, and universal access to basic social services.
According to worldvision.org and the World Bank, recent estimates for global poverty are that "689 million people, live in extreme poverty". In the U.S. "38.1 million people live in poverty" (2018 census).
Wealth inequality undermines social cohesion, and increases political and social tensions. It can also lead to instability, conflict, and crime that can potentially reach every member in a society, even if they feel distant or unaffected by it. As human beings, we rely on healthy societal relationships. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services details social cohesion as part of healthy relationships: "Relationships are important for physical health and psychosocial well-being. Relationships are conceptualized through terms such as social cohesion, social capital, social networks, and social support. Social cohesion refers to the strength of relationships and the sense of solidarity among members of a community."
Digital Economic Inclusion cannot work without a commitment to diversity and a commitment to helping diverse groups have equitable access. DIGICEN defines Digital Economic Inclusion as ensuring everyone has access to the variety of tools necessary to participate in the economy and society, while encouraging democratic participation and social entrepreneurship. These necessary tools include: a foundational income floor, such as a Universal Basic Income (UBI); freedom to use the CBDC; access to internet-enabled devices and apps (Universal Access); and access to Democracy Technology, such as Voting Helper Apps.
An income floor or Basic Income policy can come in the form of cash-transfers sent directly to recipients. One recent program that is helping eradicate poverty is the Child Tax Credit which is a cash-transfer program that is working towards the SDG1 in the U.S. by sending cash directly to families with children, with a variety of benefits relating to social cohesion already being seen. Cash-transfers, Basic Income programs, UBI, and/or access to cash through CBDCs can break down barriers to entry and push back against regression by spurring on new community and purpose-driven projects. Beyond increasing social cohesion, this can create a multiplier effect in the formation of new economies and spur on Social Entrepreneurship projects.
Studies back that up: In UBI-like programs in Zimbabwe, cash-transfers led to increased economic activity and more social cohesion - "the programme had enabled them to set up small scale income generating activities, transforming their livelihoods by strengthening household assets." - "The programme was said to address social inequalities creating more unified and socially cohesive community contexts.” - “It brought more social cohesion because some people used to suffer on their own. They did not socialize with other people because they were poor but with the coming of the programme everyone is working together, people are now interacting with everyone.” - http://www.cashlearning.org/downloads/skovdal-et-al-2013---ct-and-social-acceptability.pdf
One way governments can help eradicate poverty is through access to CBDCs, as well as potential anti-poverty policies with the aid of CBDCs. More countries around the world are investigating and implementing Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs - these offer individuals direct access to their own funds and the potential for creating anti-poverty policies that can empower individuals and help them escape poverty with the help of their smartphone or internet-enabled device. The Central Bank Digital Currencies that DIGICEN advocates for are not cryptocurrencies and do not use blockchain. A CBDC complements the use of cash and bank deposits rather than replacing them. Safe money accounts at the central banks will be a strong instrument of financial inclusion with the convenience of a smartphone app.
DIGICEN advocates for Digital Economic Inclusion to help with the United Nations SDG1 Sustainable Development Goal #1, to "End poverty in all its forms everywhere". Learn more about DIGICEN.
Tags: poverty un united nations sdg1 sustainable development goal sdgs economy economics social cohesion study findings pilot ctc child tax credit cash transfer cash transfers ubi universal basic income basic income cbdc central bank digital currency digital currency digital economic inclusion