Collaboration of NGOs and Local Governments for a Sustainable Struggle against Urban Poverty in Turkey
Poverty is among the significant issues that the governments should tackle with. This problem has social and cultural dimensions as well as the economic dimension. From day to day, so many international and national bodies apply policies to cope with this question. For the solution of urban poverty, two worldwide tendencies are critical turning points. One of them is that, throughout the world, there is a tendency that central governments delegate some of their duties and responsibilities to the local governments. This delegation of responsibilities requires the delegation of certain financial and administrative resources as well. Otherwise, a delegation of responsibility without necessary resources will result in growing crisis. Delegation of responsibility and resources, at the same time, to the local governments will prepare more successful solutions in coping with the problem of poverty. In general, local governments are closer to the citizens and therefore they may follow the needs and desires of citizens better than the central governments. Consequently, transfer of both responsibility and resources from central to local governments, most probably will solve the urban poverty problem more effectively. The other tendency is increasing role of NGOs in social issues including the elimination of urban poverty. In coping with poverty, local governments and NGOs engage in two kinds of main activities. One of them is the activities that directly produce a surplus value such as career creating courses. The second one is the solution seeking policies such as social aids in kind and in cash such as offering scholarship and free medical services. In this study, a general outlook for the poverty will be drawn and the “culture of poverty” will be briefly analyzed. Later, the policies of local governments and NGOs as dynamic actors in poverty alleviation will be discussed. Lastly, as a case study, a critical challenge to poverty, “Study Halls” established in the most underdeveloped region of Turkey will be analyzed.
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