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Ten years of war against poverty

September 15, 2010


The Chronic Poverty Research Centre marked its 10-year anniversary last week by a three-day conference entitled “Ten Years of War Against Poverty- what have we learned since 2000 and what should we do 2010-2020?”. It proved to be a very interesting conference with plenary lectures by big names in the field such as Joseph Stiglitz, Ravi Kanbur and Angus Deaton and many research papers presented in the parallel sessions. Not only did it mark CPRC’s 10 years of existence but also my own first work week at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex. As such, it was a great occassion to meet and discuss with old and new colleagues and present myself as a new Research Fellow.

My own contributions to the conference consisted of the organization of a panel on Multidimensional Poverty: Alternative Concepts and Tailor-made Approaches. It included four papers, each within a distinct context (i.e. EU setting, post-conflict situation in Afghanistan and low-income country contexts of South Africa and Vietnam) and specific approaches towards the conceptualization and measurement of multidimensional poverty. Within that panel, I presented a paper co-authored with Geranda Notten from the University of Ottawa on multidimensional child poverty in the EU and a single-authored paper on the measurement of multidimensional child poverty in Vietnam from a longitudinal perspective. All papers from the conference can be found at the CPRC conference website.

Lessons learned from the conference suggest that the despite the long-standing research and debate on the issues of poverty and vulnerability, there are still many unresolved issues and needs for further debate and research. Questions that were raised include: How can the MDG’s be revived and how do we take the MDG process forward up to 2015? What is the scope for using alternative measures of well-being, such as subjective well-being, within the poverty and development debate? How can social protection play a role in addressing poverty around the world? In other words, many new issues on the table and enough work to be done!

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