Poverty Thematic Portal News
A new report highlights initial progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after three years of implementation across five of the initial Millennium Village sites. The report, Harvests of Development in Rural Africa, is based on results from the recently completed midterm surveys, focusing on sector-based gains (e.g., health, education, infrastructure, and gender) and site-specific gains in five out of twelve Millennium Village sites. These sites are located in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda.
The report compares data collected in the third year of the project to baseline measurements taken when the project was initiated. CIESIN, in collaboration with the Tropical Agriculture and Rural Environment Program of the Earth Institute (EI) and EI site teams, aided in the development and implementation of field and data management systems to collect, enter, clean, and analyze MDG-related survey data. The objective of these systems is to inform sustainable development activities over the 10-year time frame of the project and support research on how to transfer successful lessons to other areas.
The Millennium Villages pursue an integrated approach to sustainable development aimed at achieving all of the MDGs within African villages. The MDGs are an internationally agreed-upon set of specific goals based on numerical benchmarks, and include targets on income poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, and environmental degradation.
TerraViva! SEDAC Viewer is a map viewer and standalone software application that uses a powerful data-viewing engine and tools to enable the visualization and integration of hundreds of socioeconomic and environmental variables and layers, including a range of satellite-based data. A three-part tutorial that explains how to use TerraViva! is now available through the YouTube Web site. The tutorial was produced by senior research associate Alex de Sherbinin and senior media designer Al Pinto, under the auspices of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
The creation and significance of subnational infant mortality data developed by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) are the focus of a new article published in the journal Population, Space, and Place. Authored by former CIESIN staff Adam Storeygard and Deborah Balk, with CIESIN deputy director, Marc Levy, and Glenn Deane, “The Global Distribution of Infant Mortality: A Subnational Spatial View,” explains how subnational measures of infant mortality can serve as a useful, spatially-precise indicator of poverty. Prior to the production of this data set, global poverty measures had been available only at the national level; increased spatial precision at the subnational level is especially helpful when examining interactions between poverty and factors that do not conform to national borders, such as climate zones, ecoregions, and natural hazard exposure. The article describes how the data set was produced, delineates its known strengths and weaknesses, and reports some spatial patterns that emerge, such as the relationship between coastal proximity and poverty rates. The subnational poverty data set was produced in 2004-2005 as a part of The Global Distribution of Poverty project, a joint effort of the World Bank, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. The data set has been used in a number of global assessment exercises, including the UN Millennium Development Project and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.
The latest release of the Global Hunger Index assesses the progress of developing countries in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), targets that relate to the three Index indicators—the proportion of people who are calorie-deficient; child malnutrition; and child mortality. The Index reveals that only two regions of the world, Latin America and the Caribbean and East Asia and the Pacific, are on track to reach all MDGs. In Sub-Saharan Africa, which contains nine of the ten countries with the highest levels of hunger worldwide, many countries are particularly off-track for meeting the targets. Released for the second year, the Global Hunger Index ranks 118 countries for six different years, beginning in 1981, with the most recent year 2004. It is produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in conjunction with German Agro-Action and Concern Worldwide.
A regional database of socioeconomic data (including indicators of poverty, inequality, income, employment, access to services, education, health, housing, social programs, and demographics) for the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region is now available online. The data set was produced by the World Bank’s LAC Poverty and Gender Group, in partnership with the Centro de Estudios Distributivos Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) of the Universidad de la Plata.
Where the Poor Are: An Atlas of Poverty has been published by CIESIN, in collaboration with the World Bank. It features 21 full-page poverty maps, depicting vital development indicators at unprecedented levels of spatial detail, gathered from countries and cities around the world. Geographic patterns are revealed, with practical examples of how the data and tools have been used in decision making and poverty interventions.
As poverty maps have achieved greater spatial detail—thanks to the integration of recent advances in econometric techniques, innovations in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, and ever-improving access to Census and survey data—it is now possible to develop, interpret, and apply such maps to better understand poverty and improve our capacity to address it.
The Poverty Reduction Group (PRMPR) at the World Bank organized a conference on May 11, 2006 focusing on the effective use of Small Area Estimation (SAE) poverty maps in policy making. The goal of the conference was to present a range of policies and interventions which have been informed by poverty maps, while focusing on the political economy of poverty maps and the key elements to their effective use by policy makers. Additionally, the conference looked at the future of poverty maps in terms of new techniques and new areas of application.
The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has published Mapping Climate Vulnerability and Poverty in Africa, to identify areas of sub-Saharan Africa where current and projected impacts of climate variability and climate change are likely to be significant, poverty rates high, and vulnerability to change high, over the next 10, 25, and 50 years.