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Rights based versus Market based development

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Over the past decade, development policy and discourse has become steeped in the language of human rights. Indeed, a 'rights-based' approach is the standard starting point for most cooperation efforts to reduce poverty. But increasingly, development policymakers are also embracing business as a valid tool for alleviating poverty among smallholders and adopting ‘market-based’ approaches.

In practice, it is rarely a simple matter of choosing one approach over the other. Many development agencies themselves operating from a rights-based approach at the policy level, while adopting a market-based approach in practice.

Can they tread both paths at once?

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