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Inclusive growth still not in reach as development gaps persist — study

12/07/2019

Inclusive growth: PeruThose in the bottom 40 per cent in Peru saw a bigger economic improvement than the national average.

Inclusive economic growth is the exception rather than the norm, findings from a new global study suggest. Those on the lowest incomes in countries around the world have seen less improvement in their economic situation than their fellow citizens have over the last 10 — 15 years, according to the results.
Ten countries in the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative and UNDP analysis had data tracking the comparative growth of the income or consumption of the poorest 40% of their populations. Only two of these, Peru and Vietnam, saw higher growth in income or consumption for the bottom 40% than the average for their respective national populations over periods of between four and eight years for which data was available.
Average annual growth in income or consumption per capita in Ethiopia and Pakistan far outstripped that of the bottom 40% of their populations, the research report says.
The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2019, developed by the OPHI and the UNDP’s Human Development Report Office, considers a range of indicators on living standards, health and education. This is motivated by the Sustainable Development Goal 1 objective to end poverty in all its forms and dimensions, not only monetary poverty.
First developed in 2010, it delves into the complexity of poverty reduction in 101 countries and allows progress to be tracked over time.
When looking at Multidimensional Poverty, all but one of the 10 countries selected for the analysis to compare comparative progress showed more inclusive development than when looking at incomes or consumption. The bottom 40% improved their Multidimensional Poverty scores faster than the total population in these nine countries, significantly faster in both India and Cambodia.
However, such averages mask variations for different groups of people within each nation. The data is disaggregated by region and by age group within nations. This shows patterns of development with the poorest regions reducing multidimensional poverty the fastest in absolute terms in India, and in Ethiopia urban areas progressing faster than rural areas.
Disaggregating the Global MPI by age reveals inequality across age groups, with children under 18 bearing the greatest burden of multidimensional poverty. Half of those in multidimensional poverty are children, and a third are children under 10. Children were also far more likely to be deprived in every single one of the MPI indicators.
The data also identifies inequality within households. In South Asia, more than a fifth of children under the age of five live in households in which at least one child is malnourished and at least one child is not.
Bjorn Gelders, Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways, commented: “This data chimes with our own findings from South Africa to Indonesia that development is often leaving too many behind — especially children — and provides a clear call for inclusive development.”
“It underlines the need to make a robust case for inclusive social protection as an investment in people.”
A discussion of the findings will be live-streamed on 17 July at 1:30pm EDT. Bjorn Gelders will be one of eight global social protection experts delivering training in convincing policymakers to invest in inclusive social protection in November.

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