He spoke about BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) approach, which combines big push investment in the poorest household with targeted wraparound services, as one such initiative, noting the extensive research demonstrating the programme’s effectiveness in addressing both social and economic vulnerabilities.

“What we need to do is stop tinkering around the edges,” he stated, calling for greater global political will, action and investment to massively scale evidence-based initiatives to deliver on the promise made at the start of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Those living in the harshest forms of poverty demand nothing less of us,” he stressed.

His comments followed a keynote address by Tarja Kaarina Halonen, former president of Finland, and remarks from panelists including Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Victoria Kwakwa, vice president for Eastern and Southern Africa at the World Bank.

Heads of governments, ministers and senior officials from 19 countries participated during the open debate at the Roundtable.