In 2013, the World Bank Group announced two goals that would guide its development work worldwide. The first is the eradication of chronic extreme poverty, more formally, it is the target of bringing the number of extremely poor people, defined as those living on less than 1.25 ppp-adjusted dollars a day, to less than 3% of the world population by 2030. The second is the boosting of shared prosperity, defined as promoting the growth of per capita real income of the poorest 40% of the population in each country.
This year, UN member nations are expected to agree in New York to a set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the first and foremost of which is the eradication of extreme poverty everywhere, in all its forms. Both the language and the spirit of the SDG objective reflect the growing acceptance of the idea that poverty is a multi-dimensional concept that reflects multiple deprivations in various aspects of well-being. That said, there is much less agreement on the best ways in which those deprivations should be measured; and on whether or how information on them should be aggregated.
In this context, the Bank’s Chief Economist has decided to convene a high-level commission the objective of which is to advise the Bank on how to measure and monitor global poverty with the above background in mind. The Commission’s final report will constitute advice to the Sr. Vice President and Chief Economist and Senior Management more broadly, and is envisaged for delivery by July 2016.
The Commission would issue advice on the following two matters, and any other related ideas as deemed fit by the Chair of the Commission:
The World Bank plays an important role in shaping the global debate on combatting poverty, and the indicators and data the Bank collates and makes available shape opinion and policies in client countries, and, internationally. How we answer the above questions can therefore have a major influence on the global economy.