More to do on measuring hunger
Joachim De Weerdt, Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman, John Gibson 18 February 2014
Whereas the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty by half was achieved by 2010, the global hunger rate has only fallen by a third since 1990. Differences in survey design may account for part of this discrepancy. This column presents the results of a recent experiment in which households were randomly assigned to different survey designs. These different designs yield vastly different hunger estimates, ranging from 19% to 68% of the population being hungry.
One of the first Millennium Development Goals is to reduce hunger by half between 1990 and 2015. To date, the global hunger count has fallen slightly, from 1 billion in 1990–1992 to 870 million in 2010–2012 (Food and Agriculture Organization 2013). As a proportion of the world’s population, this is just a one-third fall in the hunger rate, from 19% to 13%. In contrast, the other highly visible Millennium Development Goal – reducing extreme poverty by half – was achieved by 2010.
Poverty and income inequality
development, Africa, Poverty, Millennium Development Goals, food, hunger, measurement error, surveys, Tanzania
Growth still is good for the poor
David Dollar, Tatjana Kleineberg, Aart Kraay 19 November 2013
A key Millennium Development Goal was to halve the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day. This was met five years ahead of schedule, and the World Bank is promoting a new goal of ‘shared prosperity’ defined in terms of the growth rate of incomes in the bottom 40% of households. This column discusses research showing that there is a strong one-for-one relationship between overall growth and average income growth in the poorest quintiles. Overall growth is thus still important.
With the formulation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in full swing, it is important to reassess how and to what extent new development challenges should be reflected in the agenda. A key part of the soon-expiring Millennium Development Goals aimed at halving absolute poverty – as defined by the World Bank's $1.25/day standard – between 1990 and 2015. This goal was reached in 2010 – five years ahead of schedule – when the global poverty headcount hit the 21% mark (United Nations 2013).
development, growth, Inequality, Poverty, Millennium Development Goals, World Bank
Improving human development: A long-run view
Leandro Prados de la Escosura 04 October 2010
As highlighted by the Millennium Development Goals, measuring development is crucial. This column presents a new human development index challenging the UN measure. It shows that the global average level of human development is “low” and that even by 2007 the level of human development outside of the OECD was similar to that of the richest countries in 1938.
In the ongoing debate on the Millennium Development Goals the appropriate measurement of different social indicators appears to be crucial. Central to these are the indices of human development provided by the UNDP Human Development Reports (HDR) since 1990. Yet somehow the pessimistic view of many developing countries offered by HDR seems at odds with their benign figures of human development relative to the developed world, in particular when compared to their relative economic record.
development, Millennium Development Goals, UN, human development index
En route to Accra: The global development finance non-system
Helmut Reisen 13 August 2008
Many development organisations are working on the Millennium Development Goals, but will any of them be held accountable when the targets are not met? This column introduces the importance of mapping the “global development finance non-system” in order to identify agencies’ overlap, activity duplication, and mission creep. International reform will be mammoth task.
In early September 2008, ministers from over 100 countries and heads of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, donor organisations, and civil society organisations from around the world will gather in Accra, Ghana, for the Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. The stated objective? Foster “reform ownership” and make aid more transparent, accountable, and results-oriented1.
Millennium Development Goals, international coordination, development assistance