$1 a day – more or less

Kelman, Ilan | March 12, 2012 | Leave a Comment


By Ilan Kelman

It is exciting to see journalism finally picking up what development researchers have been saying from the beginning http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17312819 regarding the attempt to measure development by how many people live on less than a dollar a day. The journalist’s insights into how the World Bank is claiming to have met poverty reduction goals are excellent, but sadly just scratch the surface regarding the use of data to promote targets for which the reality is vastly different. The main lesson relates to the importance of always being wary of quick fixes and simple, quantitative targets. These approaches frequently claim to show conclusions regarding sustainability and development, but the results are often designed to justify what was done, irrespective of its true effectiveness. In the end, it often just obscures what is really happening to the people who most need help.

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  • The BBC has made factual errors in its coverage of the World Bank claims on global poverty, including in the article you mention.

    The BBC has so far changed one word in the article and ignored the other errors.

    I have explained to the BBC that the misinformation may contribute to an adverse impact on discussions of post-2015 goal setting.