Two posts on the measurement of inequality this week, so you’ll need to activate the brain cells. First up Oxfam researcher Franziska Mager summarizes a paper co-authored with Deborah Hardoon for a panel at the recent Development Studies Association conference on the power and politics behind the statistics. A version of this post appeared on Oxfam’s shiny new real geek blog. Inequality is a touchy …Continue reading
Oxfam inequality number cruncher Deborah Hardoon reviews The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion. It’s hard to think of a better placed individual than Martin Ravallion to have written this book. Not only has he spent over 30 years working on poverty, including 24 years at the World Bank, but in 1990 it was Martin Ravallion who, during dinner with his wife had an ‘epiphany …Continue reading
The results/value for money steamroller grinds on, with aid donors demanding more attention to measurement of impact. At first sight that’s a good thing – who could be against achieving results and knowing whether you’ve achieved them, right? Step forward Ros Eyben, Chris Roche, Irene Guijt and Cathy Shutt, who take a more sceptical look in a new book, The Politics of Results and Evidence …Continue reading
Measuring the difficult stuff (empowerment, resilience) and learning from the results; where has Oxfam got to?
I’m not generally a big fan of measurement fetishism (too crude, too blind to complexity and systems thinking). When I used to (mis)manage the Oxfam research team and wanted a few thousand quid for some research grant, I had to list numbers of beneficiaries (men and women). As research is a global public good, I always put 3.5bn of each. No-one ever queried it. But …Continue reading
Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think?
I’m definitely not a stats geek, but every now and then, I get caught up in some of the nerdy excitement generated by measuring the state of the world. Take today’s launch (in London, but webstreamed) of a new ‘Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2014’ for example – it’s fascinating. This is the fourth MPI (the first came out in 2010), and is again produced by …Continue reading
Voices of the Hungry; killer indicators, and how to measure the social determinants of health. New thinking on measurement with Gallup Inc.
About once a year, I head off for the plush, Thames-side offices of Gallup Inc, for a fascinating update on what they’re up to on development-related topics. In terms of measurement, they often seem way ahead of the aid people, for example, developing a rigorous annual measurement of well-being across 147 countries. Not quite sure why they talk to me – maybe as part of the …Continue reading
The blog’s been insufficiently techie of late, so step forward ODI’s Emma Samman with a piece + poll on measurement. Maybe the start of a ‘Friday geek ‘ series? Some one in five people today still cannot provide for their most basic needs, progress on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 (to halve extreme poverty and hunger) notwithstanding. The High-Level Panel report affirms that ‘eradicating extreme …Continue reading
Should poverty be defined by a single international poverty line, or country by country? (and what difference does it make?)
This guest post comes from ubercrunchers Ugo Gentilini (World Food Programme), left and Andy Sumner (Institute of Development Studies), right International poverty lines are calculated by the World Bank: $1.25 per day per person is said to represent the ‘absolute poverty line’, below which a person can hardly survive. This is calculated from the mean of the national poverty lines for the poorest 15 countries. A …Continue reading
Back in March there was a fascinating exchange on this blog between Ros Eyben and Claire Melamed on the role of measurement in development work (my commentary on that debate here). Now one of Oxfam’s brightest bean counters (aka ‘Programme Effectiveness Adviser’), Karl Hughes, explains where Oxfam has got to on this: Eric Roetman, in a recent 3ie working paper, A can of worms? Implications …Continue reading