Poverty, Inequality and Human Development

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Outline
partners
Outputs
Contact
  • This programme will, in addition to working on poverty and behavioural economics, develop a mixed-methods approach to evaluating poverty trends, while drawing lessons for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The programme will develop a consistent and accessible poverty measurement toolkit to be disseminated on the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research website along with user guides and example datasets. Country case studies will include 12-15 SSA countries. Working with local researchers, the poverty toolkit will be used to estimate a number of data points in each country. A course will be organized to train scholars on the toolkit. The programme will further triangulate consumption/income poverty trends in light of other indicators (e.g., assets, agricultural prices, agricultural production, consumer prices, and education and health). In this way, the robustness of income poverty trends will be evaluated in terms of other non-income poverty measures. The programme will also employ economy-wide modelling tools to reconcile growth and poverty trends, incorporating evaluation of external factors such as, demographic change and movements in global commodity prices.

    Twinning

    This programme will be implemented with the University of Ghana and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and an array of other partners in Africa. UNU-WIDER’s lead role in analysing poverty and inequality is well established and will be continued through this programme. Funding for twinning is the major concern.

    Focal Point

    UNU-WIDER Director Finn Tarp is focal point for this programme.

    Purpose

    The programme addresses the need for improved understanding of the links between growth, poverty and inequality in Africa.

    Approach

    UNU-WIDER will collaborate with Cornell, Tampere and Sussex Universities on methodologies for the empirical assessment of poverty and inequality. This will involve new computer programmes for poverty line estimations in a variety of developing countries.

    Gender

    The gender dimension is a cross-cutting challenge that will be taken into account throughout UNU-WIDER research projects by participants, project directors, paper authors and others.

    Target Audience

    The audiences of this programme are economic analysts, policymakers and social movements involved in understanding the cross-cutting issue of poverty and poverty alleviation. This also includes teachers in graduate programmes and research institutes.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Contribution to a UN assessment/issue/query
    Target: This programme is targeted to economic analysts and poverty specialists across the UN system and elsewhere.
    How: Development of computer-based programmes for empirical poverty assessment will enhance the speed and facility with which new estimates can be made. Publications of ready-made programmes will form an integral element.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the international level
    Target: This programme is targeted to international economic analysts and poverty specialists.
    How: Development of computer-based programmes for empirical poverty assessment will enhance the speed and facility with which new estimates can be made. Publications of ready-made programmes will form an integral element.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the regional level
    Target: This programme is targeted to economic analysts and poverty specialists in regional institutions and policy institutes.
    How: Development of computer-based programmes for empirical poverty assessment will enhance the speed and facility with which new estimates can be made. Publications of ready-made programmes will form an integral element.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the national level
    Target: This programme is targeted to economic analysts and poverty specialists in national level teaching, research and policy making institutions.
    How: Development of computer-based programmes for empirical poverty assessment will enhance the speed and facility with which new estimates can be made. Publications of ready-made programmes will form an integral element.

    Impact: Capacity development in developed/developing countries
    Target: The target audience includes researchers and policymakers in both developed and developing countries.
    How: This will be achieved through knowledge dissemination and capacity-building through research collaborations, conferences and training seminars.

    Research Findings

    The programme will establish linkages between growth, inequality and poverty reduction in Africa as well as the behavioural underpinnings determining poverty outcomes.

    Policy Bridging

    Policy briefs will be elaborated for the core programme outputs.

    Value Added

    This programme will maintain UNU at the forefront of research on poverty monitoring and measurement. The findings will be made available to the public domain on a free-access, no-cost basis.

    Dissemination

    Outputs of this programme include research reports, a series of research papers and a book volume including presentations at international workshops and conferences. Outputs will be published through academic outlets and the UNU-WIDER website.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    This programme began on 1 January 2010 and will continue until at least the end of the present work programme. The programme is closely related UNU-WIDER’s research on poverty and inequality since the inception of the Institute.

    Evaluation

    Benchmarks and indicators used to gauge the progress of implementation will be the number and quality of conferences and publications. Mechanisms used to determine whether the programme successfully fulfilled its purpose will include: the frequency of hits on the WIDER Angle e-newsletter; book sales statistics; downloads of research papers; UNU-WIDER staff presentations at seminars and conferences; and staff contributions to professional work in the UN, educational institutions and other international organizations.

    Challenges

    The compilation of necessary national-level data and statistics for analytical programmes is a time-consuming process and may take longer than planned. In addition, reviewing and accepting academic publications is beyond the control of UNU-WIDER. Challenges also include the timely recruitment of new UNU-WIDER staff.

    Expected Duration

    The programme is expected to run for a duration of 48 months, from 1 January 2010 through 31 December 2013.

  • Activities within the programme will involve cooperation between the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research and Cornell University.

  • Publication/Output Type: Working paper(s); journal article(s) and/or a book volume.
    Date Published: 2014

  • Prof. Finn Tarp, Director
    United Nations University
    World Institute for Development Economics Research
    Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160
    Helsinki, Finland

    T: +358 9 615-9911
    F: +358 9 6159-9333
    E-mail: 
    Website: http://www.wider.unu.edu/