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Research visit to Oxford

October 30, 2008


I spent my days in Oxford for a research visit to present, meet and work with people working on issues of (child) poverty as well. On Monday, I held a presentation at a seminar organized by Laura Camfield from Young Lives together with OPHI to learn more about each other’s research efforts on a similar topic. Next to my presentation, there was also an introduction to the child poverty work in South Africa by Helen Barnes from CACASP and to OPHI’s work by Sabina Alkire. Stefan Dercon from Young Lives acted as a discussant to our presentations. It was interesting to hear about the multitude of efforts to measure and draw a picture of child poverty in different parts of the world. But, as Stefan Dercon put it, we should not forget about understanding poverty rather than simply measuring it. This might provide perverse incentives to policy makers by simply aiming for the “easy” group of the poor that are just below the poverty line or belonging to an easily targetable group. In other words, plenty of new insights and inspiration for further work.

A considerable amount of time was also spent together with Martin Evans from the Department of Social Policy and Social Work on a paper for the APPAM Conference in Singapore upcoming January. A jointly submitted abstract for that conference was approved and now we are busy writing up the paper. The focus will be on social policy efforts in Vietnam in relation to child poverty, in both monetary and multidimensional terms. There’s still quite some work to be done but it looks promising!

And next to the meetings, fortunately there was also time left to explore a bit of this historical city. It’s amazing to see that all the historical colleges are still in use as if time stood still. Just imagine being a student and having lunch in three hundred year old dining hall in Christ Church College… A very charming town that I wouldn’t mind to go back to one day… But first I’m off to a totally different place this weekend, namely Pristina in Kosovo!

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