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Multidimensional Coaching for Socio-Economic Advancement of People in Poverty (EU Commission)

By BRAC UPGI • October 23, 2023 • 2 minute read

This publication is a Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Center (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service.

The purpose of the report is to highlight a relatively new approach to social assistance for people in poverty, focusing on multidimensional coaching. The approach represents a paradigm shift in social assistance design, as it moves away from a top-down relationship between social worker and client towards a more collaborative relationship aimed at empowering the person in poverty. Coaching consists of a systematic, structured and intensive collaboration between the person in poverty and a mentor. It focuses on the many life dimensions that are affected by poverty, starting with an assessment of needs carried out by the person in poverty with the support of a mentor, rather than the other way around.

The report is the result of a series of exchanges among the initiators and leaders of practices of this kind that are implemented across the world. While they differ in scope and specific methodologies, the practices share several common elements and the common purpose of accompanying clients in the development of crucial capabilities for socioeconomic advancement.

The approach does not replace other necessary forms of support addressing material deprivation, but it may complement it effectively, potentially transforming the way assistance to people in poverty is provided. Impact evaluations carried out on several of the initiatives illustrated in the report show that the approach may constitute effective support to help people overcome poverty.