The Incidence of Rural Poverty and Sustainable Human Development Policies in Sudan

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In the last ten years or so (1992-2002), Sudan has witnessed an accelerating spread in poverty, in such a way that individuals or households are becoming unable to satisfy their basic needs. This study has been of particular relevance for the reason that the increasing rate of rural poverty is already reaching unacceptable levels. Indeed, poverty is contradictory to human dignity and rights.. And it bears negative effect on human development and individual achievements. It also increases social inequality and political instability; and, therefore, leads to the displacement of people. The main objective of the present study is to explain the causes and effects of rural poverty in Sudan, and to show its incidence on population, so as to suggest policy options that would be helpful for reducing rural poverty and facilitating sustainable human development in the rural areas of Sudan. The present study adopts works on policy analysis as a perspective.. It concentrates on the development policies that have been followed in Sudan. The set of hypotheses have been stated by the study displacement as follows: 1. There is a relationship between development policies on the one hand, and the spread of poverty, and its incidence in rural population, on the other hand. 2. Development policies in Sudan have mostly favoured the centre. These essentially "top-down" policies have been principal literature for poverty in rural areas. 3. The rural poor are not integrated into the development process, and do not participate in the making of decisions that affect their own lives. 4. The national political, social and (especially) economic policies have concentrated on investment, finance and social services in urban areas, leading to greater unbalanced in development, and to increasing migration from rural to urban areas. To answer for the main question of the study, and to test the hypotheses of the research, data has been gathered from both secondary and primary sources. Secondary data were collected from so many references and books related to the issue of study. Primary data was collected through using the participatory observations and bottom-up approaches used by conducting group discussions with poor families and interviews with the elders of poor families, as well as local officials during the field study. The UNDP Human Development Indicators of poverty, such as low-income and deterioration in primary health care and basic education were also used to show the incidence of rural poverty on population. As a result of that analysis, the following findings have been reached. 1. All successive governments of Sudan, before and after the independence in 1956, have failed to invest sufficiently in the rural areas. They concentrated on investments (finance and social services, such as primary health care and basic education) in urban areas, neglecting rural areas. This situation has led to greater imbalance in development, and has pushed the rural population to migrate to urban areas, searching for better opportunities of employment and welfare live. 2. Top-development policies in Sudan have not been successful for a number of institutional and structural reasons. These policies have been are an important reason for rural poverty. A truly sustainable human development policy for rural areas implies the need for a "bottom-up" approach, so as to enable the rural poor to analyze their own poverty and design their own agenda for fighting it. 3. Poor people in rural areas have not participated into the decision making. In addition, they have also not been integrated in the development processes. They have laced the necessary political power to act for their own interests. Finally there are many constrains faced this study. These included: First, the duration of the field work was very short, while the issue of rural poverty typically needs a greater understanding of different local factors and aspects. Second, the lack of finance, communication and transport limited this author ability to move freely. Paper photocopying and typing have been added to the financial problems. The third difficulty was the reluctance to interviewees to give accurate information, some statistical data proved to be not possible to obtain, and others were out- of- date. In spite of these above mentioned limitations, the study succeeded in achieving its objectives. The survey findings of the field study provided the factors underling rural poverty. By this it contributes to a better understanding of the subjects of the study. And because the causes of rural poverty is so complex and multi-dimensional, the findings of this study may help in stimulating further research and sustained effort must be made to gather more accurate data about the causes and consequences of poverty amongst rural population, so that it can be adequately addressed.
The Incidence of Rural Poverty and Sustainable Human Development Policies in Sudan