Since 2015, the Zero Extreme Poverty Philippines 2030 (ZEP2030) Movement has pursued holistic efforts to reach and serve Filipino families in extreme poverty. The compelling reason for coalition members to come together has always been clear from the start: to break the vicious cycle of extreme poverty in the country through collective impact. It is no longer a question of “Can we do it?” but more importantly, “Should we not do it?”

In the past six years of working and learning together, the ZEP2030 Movement gradually evolved, exploring emerging and more appropriate and effective strategies to enhance synergy.  In 2019, ZEP2030 pivoted from primarily thematic clusters to greater focus on expanding and strengthening area-based convergences. We saw this as an opportunity to increase and accelerate the engagement and leadership of local stakeholders in poverty reduction in the last decade of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The ZEP2030 Toolkit: A Guide for Local Convergences builds on the collective insights and  practices of coalition members and partners. The Toolkit captures both the unique and the shared experiences of ZEP2030 local convergences; offers a rich menu of tools and other relevant resources; and encourages peer exchange as we continue to grow and support more local convergences across the country.

We acknowledge that the face of extreme poverty may vary in each locality. This Toolkit is intended to provide a range of options that will guide each local convergence in ultimately meeting the needs of the communities and the families we have committed to serve.


Br. Armin Luistro FSC
Chair, ZEP2030 Lead Convenors

We find ourselves in the final decade in our campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we pave the way for recovery, the question stands: can we still end poverty by 2030? Is it feasible to emancipate 1 million extremely poor families in the Philippines by then?

We have just about 9 years left, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made our work more challenging. The pandemic has reversed decades of progress made in the fight against poverty. It has also brought in a “new normal” that is detrimental to the poor: more difficult access to healthcare, setbacks in educating our children in a remote set-up, risks to our environment and, the limited access of families to clean water and sanitation. COVID-19 worsened inequalities and exposed the precarity being faced by millions of Filipinos in the fringes of society.

Our partnership with the ZEP2030 movement has been quite pivotal since its inception as it represents our belief that collective action is necessary to effectively address poverty. Complex issues like poverty cannot be addressed by a panacea or by any single entity acting on its own. What we need are coalitions of various stakeholders and the poor communities themselves implementing inclusive and complementary solutions to achieve a shared vision of progress.

The ZEP2030 Toolkit aims to help strengthen collective action against poverty at the local level. It aims to help operationalize the movement’s “all-in local” strategy by providing lean guidance that local convergences can suit to their unique contexts and needs. It is one of the many fruits of the collaboration between the ZEP2030 Movement and UNDP Philippines, through the Accelerator Lab Philippines, to test different ways of localizing poverty action using data and social innovations.

The Toolkit is a living document that will be updated and refined based on our learnings from the ground. We in UNDP will continue to collaborate with ZEP2030 in accelerating this learning process, all in the hope to eventually make a dent on poverty through local collaboration.


Dr. Selva Ramachandran
Resident Representative, UNDP Philippines