Very interesting article and always honorable to talk about poverty (extreme, ultra, and others). I think all agree that any efforts are always welcome when it comes to poverty..gender equality ....but could these ill-informed call-to-action increase fragmentation, reduce opportunities for sustainability, and maybe even create more inequality.
Like you I have spent (still in LAC) most of my time in Latin America. The continent is probably one of the best example....when it comes to the poverty dilemma. It is host to a great majority of Middle Income Countries and the three countries that generate most wealth in the region are home to 60% of the poor in Latin America. It doesn't take a lot to do quick math and to see that unplanned "poverty" policies could even work against any sustainability concept for the region. Most countries in the region; can't generate sufficient energy, are built on crumbling infrastructures, and have little capability to generate taxes to mitigate social and environmental impact....and even if they would collect more taxes out of the informal economy...would it really serve the most needed.
I like your quick scan of some of the WB's work and project but how viable will it be for the region, Africa....or the rest of the world to be successful and eliminate extreme poverty. What will be the impact on food prices, on energy, on access to water? Will they be able to access education or health?
There are lots of APP that increases citizen's participation but what if no one is listening at the other end. I could map gazillions of roads in severe conditions but government can't fixed them. I could write about the poor conditions of the health care system but the govt doesn't have new money to fix them.
Is $1.25 a meaningful indicator?
If they drive? could any of the major cities in Latin America absorb them without careful planning and substantial investment!? Panama is a perfect example" small and manageable! but they can't generate new energies...people are on energy ration.
Could this unplanned growth worsen the current conditions? The region (Africa and Asia) as well is plague with low employment -- who will hire "them"?
I think it's very honorable to have these grand vision but we may do more harm to the one we want to help if these grandiose campaigns are ill-informed and lack long term commitment.