Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) SARPN thematic photo
About Us > Overview Last update: 2008-12-17  
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The Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) is a non-profit organisation that promotes debate and knowledge sharing on poverty reduction processes and experiences in Southern Africa. SARPN aims to contribute towards effective reduction of poverty in the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) through creating platforms for effective pro-poor policy, strategy and practice.

SARPN achieves this goal through widening participation, bringing people together across the region to exchange ideas, and disseminating information to deepen understandings of poverty issues and improve policy and practice.

SARPN's purpose
Knowledge management * Building linkages * Promoting debate

SARPN was originally established as a project of the Human Sciences Research Council in 2001. In 2004 it became an independent regional entity, supported by a board of 20 regional policy makers, academics and civil society members.

SARPN is undergoing a strategic reorientation following a decision by its Board to redefine its status and focus as an independent NGO. Discussions with various partner organisations are ongoing, aimed at repositioning SARPN within the regional context in which it operates.

Mode of operation

  • Knowledge management
    • Collecting and disseminating information
    • Undertaking commissions / studies
    • Providing commentaries


  • Building linkages
    • Developing directories and databases of stakeholders
    • Coordinating networks / discussion groups
    • Linking stakeholders


  • Promoting debate
    • Convening events / debates that examine issues of policy relevance
    • Facilitating the participation of marginalised groups in discussions
    • Promoting discussion across conventional barriers - including borders, institutional frameworks and sectors


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