Poverty reduction at the forefront of development

By Punam Chuhan-Pole, Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist of the Africa Region at the World Bank, writing on the Broker Online:

“The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) put the fight against poverty at the center of the international development agenda.  And progress has been noteworthy – so much so that it is now fueling more ambitious goals on poverty reduction. But this also brings new demands for better data to measure progress.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently called the MDGs “the most successful global anti-poverty push in history.” With their mutually reinforcing linkages, they committed the world to reducing extreme poverty to historically low levels, while also improving education, health, nutrition, and other development prospects for hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people. There is no doubt that since their announcement in 2000, the MDGs have raised the profile of poverty reduction in national development strategies, aid discussions and allocation, and the international development discourse. Systematic cross-country monitoring of simple to understand targets proved to be an effective tool in raising this profile.

Monitoring and related analyses of the progress on the MDGs brought to the forefront the link between growth and poverty reduction, and what hinders the conversion of growth into faster poverty reduction. Results from studies also showed that all growth is not equal in terms of reducing poverty and improving human development outcomes, thereby drawing attention to the issue of equity in opportunities and the need for more inclusive growth processes to accelerate poverty reduction.”

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