Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think?

Duncan Green - June 16, 2014

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 …

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How have a series of global shocks changed the way we think about development?

admin - May 9, 2013

This piece appears in today’s Ottawa Citizen The past five years has been a period of extraordinary global turbulence. The turmoil has struck as three “shocks” — the financial crisis, a breakdown in the world food system, and the Arab Spring — combined with a slow motion train wreck in the form of the seemingly inexorable onset of chaotic climate change. Together, these are having …

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Is Wellbeing collective or individual? Some answers from Scotland

admin - July 12, 2012

The debate on wellbeing often veers towards the happiness of the individual. Based on her pioneering work in Scotland, Oxfam’s Dr Katherine Trebeck (right) argues instead that we must see (and define and measure) well-being as an essentially collective aspect of life. In 1972, in a famous speech likened at the time to the Gettysburg Address, union leader Jimmy Reid spoke to students of the …

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The co-creator of the UN's new Multidimensional Poverty Index defends her new baby

admin - July 29, 2010

Sabina Alkire responds to the previous posts by Martin Ravallion and me on her new ‘Multidimensional Poverty Index’. She is director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). “As Martin Ravallion points out, we agree that poverty is multidimensional. The question is whether our efforts to incorporate multiple dimensions into the very definition of who is poor and the measurement of poverty “contributes …

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Why equity matters more than growth: The Spirit Level

admin - May 6, 2009

‘Growth with Equity’ is motherhood and apple pie in economic policy-making these days. But in a great new book, Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that ‘economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work.’ Above a certain average income (the authors put it at $25,000 per capita GDP, others put it …

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