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.
Joachim De Weerdt, Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman, John Gibson, 18 February 2014
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.
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.
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.