Development Co-operation Report 2013

Ending Poverty

image of Development Co-operation Report 2013

The Development Co-operation Report (DCR) 2013 explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to reduce poverty. The world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day. Nonetheless, we are far from achieving the overarching MDG goal of eradicating extreme poverty. While we have learned much about what works in terms of reducing poverty, “getting to zero” remains a challenge in the face of the intractable difficulties of reaching those mired in extreme poverty.

The report  focuses on the very poor and will set out, in concrete terms:

• The nature and dimensions of poverty today

• What development co-operation – and the global partnerships it supports – can do in the fight against poverty

The DCR 2013 will focus on the positive experiences of countries, highlighting policies and approaches that have worked.

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Is it time for a new international poverty measure?

Since 1990, the World Bank and the United Nations have tracked global poverty trends using a common international poverty line – the so-called USD 1.25 per day line. This indicator has been helpful for comparing global poverty over time and for monitoring progress against key development targets such as the Millennium Development Goals. However, it appears to be reaching the limits of its usefulness and relevance. This is partly because of the increasing number of poor people in middle-income countries – where per capita consumption and national poverty lines are substantially above USD 1.25 per day. Other considerations also raise questions as to the appropriateness of this measure to reflect levels and trends in world poverty: the multiple dimensions of poverty, the disconnect between national and international poverty lines, comparability over time, the need to measure not only absolute, but also relative poverty, etc. As the world works towards a new set of international goals it will be critical to address and resolve these issues. This chapter supports a new approach for measuring global poverty that takes these weaknesses into account: an internationally co-ordinated national poverty measurement.

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