Guardian launches important new Website on Inequality

Duncan Green - April 28, 2017

The Guardian launched a promising new website on inequality this week, edited by Mike Herd. ‘Over the coming year, the Guardian’s Inequality Project – supported by the Ford Foundation – will try to shed fresh light on these and many more issues of inequality and social unfairness, using in-depth reporting, new academic research and, most importantly, insights from you, our audience, wherever you are in the world …

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It’s international happiness day today, and there are some baffling national winners and losers

Duncan Green - March 20, 2016

It’s international happiness day today, so what better way to ruin my Sunday morning than blogging about it? The World Happiness Report has a short update to mark the day. Happiness may sound a slightly woolly concept, but actually the report is based on rigorous assessments by Gallup of life satisfaction indicators (see here for more). Some highlights: Denmark wins (again) – how annoying is …

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Let’s Talk About Sex: why sexual satisfaction & pleasure should be on the international development agenda

Duncan Green - October 22, 2014

This guest post is by Chloe Safier (@chloelenas), Regional Gender Lead for Oxfam in Southern Africa, with thoughtful contributions from Marc Wegerif I was sitting at dinner with my Oxfam colleagues on a Sunday night, just before a country strategy meeting. Over grilled fish and cokes, I mentioned an article I’d seen recently in the Guardian that spoke to the need to talk about all aspects …

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Gallup’s global Well-Being Index. Great data, shame about the (lack of) analysis.

Duncan Green - September 19, 2014

Gallup has just published its Global Well-Being Index, based on a survey of 134,000 adults in 135 countries – i.e. a big exercise. The methodology is rigorous, presided over by Angus Deaton, who also contributes a glowing foreword. The index includes five elements of well-being: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. Here’s what it finds for the BRICS, for example (headline message, it’s great to be Brazilian, …

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Can alternative economic indicators ever be any good if they are devised solely by experts?

Duncan Green - August 21, 2014

This guest post comes from Oxfam well-being guru Katherine Trebeck Over the last few years there has been a spate of measurement initiatives – way too many to list here. Together they represent a positive, if disparate, effort to improve the measures that we take into account when assessing the success of something – a policy, a programme, or even a country. Many of them …

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Why do some (better) alternatives to GDP get picked up, while others sink without trace? Useful new study on political economy of indicators.

admin - February 5, 2013

Took me a while to overcome my reluctance to read a document subtitled ‘Deliverable 1.1’ on the front page (yuk), but I’m glad I did so. The paper ‘Review report on Beyond GDP indicators: categorisation, intentions and impacts’ (cracking title too…..) is published by BRAINPOoL – ‘Bringing Alternative Indicators into Policy’ (is that the sound of teeth grinding?).  The authors come from Eurothinktanks CUEC (Czech …

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What can opinion polls tell us about well-being and revolution? Quite a lot, actually

admin - October 15, 2012

I’m on a plane to Delhi today, to the big OECD conference on ‘Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making’. In preparation, I dropped in on the scarily smart (in both senses) young pollsters from Gallup. Fascinating, and also vaguely relevant to today’s ‘blog action day‘, on the theme of  ‘the power of we’ – few organizations are better placed than Gallup to tell us …

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How can we measure Scotland's well-being? New index from Oxfam.

admin - May 3, 2012

Really interesting project from Katherine Trebeck and colleagues in Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme – constructing and testing a wellbeing index for Scotland. Guardian coverage here. Here’s how it works: Oxfam consulted 3,000 people across Scotland (focus groups, community workshops – see pic, street stalls, an online survey, and a YouGov poll) to establish what aspects of life make a difference to them. The consultation process produced …

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Poverty reduction v well-being: a cash transfer experiment from Malawi

admin - June 29, 2011

What difference does it make to development interventions if you worry about well-being rather than income poverty? A rather neat example has just come through from some new research by Sarah Bair, Jacobus de Hoop and Berk Özler for the World Bank Poverty and Inequality team. They looked at the impact on girls’ mental health of cash transfers in Malawi (why do so many researchers work …

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