“The centrality of measurement for post-2015
There has been plenty of debate surrounding measurement in the development sector over the years: income vs non-income poverty, qualitative vs quantitative, absolute vs relative. These arguments may seem technical and better left to those responsible for crunching the numbers, but debates around measurement mean more than a collection of equations. What is measured,how it’s measured and who it’s measured for, all affect the aims that will be set and therefore what countries choose to prioritise and how their performance is tracked.
While these debates may seem settled by some accounts – there’s a broad consensus that we need a mix of approaches – some significant conflicts of opinion remain and the time is quickly approaching when a firm decision will need to be made as an agreement is reached for a successor framework to the MDGs. Without careful attention paid to how we measure the seeming intangibles – like empowerment for example – or even the specifics of what we mean by the classics like income poverty, our wonderfully diverse and open dialogue could be for naught.
We need more voices please! Particularly from those who’ve so far gone unheard. But let’s all remember that some difficult choices will need to be made from the myriad of options: abstaining from the measurement debate means defaulting to the number crunchers.”
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