Michel Bouvier highlighted the importance of thinking beyond balancing public finances and to further question the utility of public spending particularly in combating poverty. Pierre Concialdi (French Institute of Social and Economic Research - IRES) provided an overview of poverty in France. Jean-Claude Barbier, Member of the French Council for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion (CNLE), presented a multi-year plan for combating poverty and social exclusion defined in 2013. Emmanuel Giannesini, Chief Officer at the French Court of Auditors commented on the findings in the Court of Auditors’ report on minimum social benefits. Nicaise Mede, Professor at the University of Abomey-Calavi, addressed how poverty is measured in Western Africa.