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  1. 1

    Poverty and development [editorial]

    Fosu AK

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 Oct; 85(10):734.

    posited that the process of development entails changes in incomes over time. Larger income levels achieved via positive economic growth, appropriately discounted for population growth, would constitute higher levels of development. As many have noted, however, the income measure fails to adequately reflect development in that per-capita income, in terms of its levels or changes to it, does not sufficiently correlate with measures of (human) development, such as life expectancy, child/infant mortality and literacy. The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) human development index (HDI) constitutes an improved measure for development. HDI has been modified to be gender-sensitive with variants that reflect gender inequality. Various measures reflecting Sen's "capability" concept, such as civil and political rights, have also been incorporated. Countries where the level of poverty is relatively large tend also to exhibit low values of human development, thus lowering the mean values of the development measures. Where inequalities of development indicators are very large, however, the average values may not sufficiently reflect the conditions of the poor, requiring the need to concentrate on poverty per se. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Square pegs, round holes, and why you can't fight HIV / AIDS with monetarism.

    Rowden R

    Washington, D.C., ActionAid International USA, 2005 Mar. [4] p.

    How to get a square peg through a round hole? How can poor countries invest in the doctors, nurses, and teachers needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when current International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan conditions limit the spending of recipient country governments? There is a fundamental contradiction between the need to greatly scale-up social spending to fight HIV/AIDS and what can actually be spent under the IMF’s current low-inflation monetary policy. How can significantly more money be spent in these economies without producing higher levels of inflation than the IMF’s low-inflation policy permits? In order for many poor countries to receive foreign aid from the World Bank or any of the rich countries, borrowing countries must first be given the “green light” by the IMF, an action that signals to other lenders that their national macroeconomic policies are sound. Because it opens the door to all the other major foreign aid donors and creditors, this “signaling effect” gives the IMF tremendous leverage over many aid-dependent countries in terms of the economic policy reforms it attaches as loan conditions. Unless a borrowing country is satisfactorily implementing the IMF’s preferred economic reform policies, it risks getting the “red light” – and being cut off from access to the major sources of foreign aid, credit, or debt relief programs. Of particular concern among the IMF’s binding loan conditions are economic policy reforms related to monetary policies (policies in which a central bank attempts to regulate the money supply and interest rates in order to control inflation and stabilize the currency). (excerpt)
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