SDG 1: No poverty
1. EU Programmes likely to be relevant for libraries
(EU instruments and/or funding may be made available to libraries willing to be involved in the SDG.)
EU Instruments covering SDG 1 are two main funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). Together with the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), they make up the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds.
The EU Cohesion Policy can be highly relevant for libraries. It mainly consists of supporting job creation, competitiveness, economic growth, improved quality of life and sustainable development. These investments support the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy. https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/
Each Member State has agencies responsible for managing the programmes supported by Cohesioni Policy. This managing authority provides information on the programme, selects projects and monitors implementation. Please find the managing Authority in your country by clicking on: https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/managing-authorities/.
The programmes are prepared by each Member State and/or region and are financed under the Cohesion Fund. Summaries of the current operational programmes are found in the following link:
New Cohesion policy (2021-2027) - also see the EBLIDA report
|The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027 report|
Focus is on seven priorities, where the EU is best placed to deliver. The main objectives driving EU investments in 2021-2027 are:
- Regional development investments will strongly focus on objectives 1 - to promote the development and adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind - and 2 - covers regions struggling with structural difficulties and helps to reduce gaps in socio-economic development.
- 65% to 85% of ERDF and Cohesion Fund resources will be allocated to these priorities, depending on Member States’ relative wealth.
- Smarter Europe, through innovation, digitisation, economic transformation and support to small and medium-sized businesses.
- a Greener, carbon free Europe, implementing the Paris Agreement and investing in energy transition, renewables and the fight against climate change.
- a more Connected Europe, with strategic transport and digital networks.
- a more Social Europe, delivering on the European Pillar of Social Rights and supporting quality employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare.
- a Europe closer to citizens, by supporting locally-led development strategies and sustainable urban development across the EU.
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission proposes to further strengthen the Union’s social dimension with a new and improved European Social Fund, the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and a more effective European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The ESF+ Regulation will integrate the current ESF, YEI, FEAD, EaSI and the EU Health programme, with ESF being complementary to other funds (such as the EGF, Erasmus, AMIF, ERDF, RSP, InvestEU).
2. Library Policies and Best Practices
The concept of poverty must be declined in relation to the relative wealth of the European continent and therefore be interpreted as a multidimensional phenomenon. Apart from occasional library initiatives – for instance, distribution of food or libraries opening as dorms during emergencies - most European projects in libraries aim to break the poverty chain: i.e., children born into poverty bear a higher risk of poverty in adult life than those not born into poverty. They target categories of people having a marginal role in the society.
Library activities of social inclusion often concern groups of people residing in sensitive urban districts, rural areas or prisons. They may consist of literacy activities managed by librarians or third party monitors, or of inter-ethnic, inter-religious sessions integrating groups of a different nature. Projects often mentioned within the scope of SDG 1 are libraries open to homeless people, distributing food and other basic goods, and helping illiterate groups in the population. It is almost impossible to organise such activities without resorting to the third sector.
In Europe, a possible flagship policy is implemented in the Netherlands, where an ambitious project focussed on vulnerable elderly citizens (funded by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, FEAD) supports EU countries' actions in providing food and/or basic material assistance to the most deprived. Material assistance needs to go hand in hand with social inclusion measures, such as guidance and support to lift people out of poverty and integrate most deprived people better into society. (See EBLIDA. Funding Opportunities in Libraries. The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027, http://www.eblida.org/publications.html.)
In France, public libraries make available an écrivain public to their illiterate users. This “public writer” regularly attends libraries and facilitates those with literacy problems in their administrative tasks, helping them fulfil their civil rights. (SDG 1 in https://agenda2030bibfr.wixsite.com/agenda2030bib; see also Ministère de la Culture. Voyage au pays des bibliothèques Lire aujourd’hui, lire demain, par Erik Orsenna and Noël Corbin. Février 2018.f)
3. Opportunities for Library Funding
This Chapter refers to the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) 2021-2027, and in particular to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund+ (ESF).
In order to make the most out of these Funds, first refer to the ESIF managing authorities, which are different in every Member State and are responsible for national operational programmes and policies. The list of national authorities, country after country, and region after region, is available at the following link, https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/atlas/managing-authorities/.
In the Table(s) below, for each ESIF objective: Column 1 designates the ERDF or ESF+ specific objective. Column 2 and 3 set, respectively, the related outputs and results indicated by ESIF official documents. It can be easily inferred that European Commission criteria for evaluation are quite general and do not get into the detail of the programmes. It is up to Member States to set additional criteria for evaluation.
Finally, Column 4 lists examples of library projects set up to pursue ESIF objectives or to attain specific Sustainable Development Goals. ESIF-funded and SDG-oriented library projects are matched with specific ESIF 2021-2027 objectives and sub-objectives; what is shown in the table, however, is a simulation: under which presumed ESIF specific objective could SDG-oriented library projects have been funded, if they were to be presented within the ESIF 2021-2027 framework?
More detailed information on the Library Projects listed in Column 5 can be found in the Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries - First European Report.
4. Main Eurostat Indicators
(The corresponding Main indicators normally used at EU level to evaluate activities)
Key trends in “No poverty” in the European Union show the following evidence (Eurostat Report, pp. 35 and ss):
- Despite recent improvements, the EU remains far from its 2020 poverty target;
- Income poverty was the most widespread form of poverty in the EU in 2017;
- Considerable differences in the share of poverty exist within the EU and across the world;
- Single households, migrants and people with lower education as well as their children face high risks of poverty or social exclusion;
- Having a job is not a guarantee against poverty or social exclusion;
- Poor people often suffer from inadequate housing conditions;
- People who self-report unmet needs for medical care most commonly cite costs as the reason.
Goal 1’s attainment is monitored through the following main indicators: Source: EU SDG Indicator set 2019, p. 14:
5. Library Indicators
Library Indicators enabling the evaluation of library performances and how they can match SDG indicators.
A report on Library indicators and SDGs has been released by the ELSA working Group: "Towards the implementation of SDG Indicators in European Libraries"
"End poverty in all its forms everywhere"
Poverty harms people’s lives and hampers social cohesion and economic growth. It is a multidimensional phenomenon and tends to persist over time and be transmitted across generations, meaning children born into poverty bear a higher risk of poverty in adult life than the average population. Coordinated policy interventions — such as effective redistribution, education, health, active labour market inclusion and access to integrated social services of high quality — can prevent the long-term loss of economic productivity from whole groups of society and encourage inclusive and sustainable growth. In the EU, poverty can take on various forms, including, but not limited to, income poverty, material deprivation, very low work intensity and in-work poverty.
Targets and Indicators: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg1
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