Friday, 26 October 2012

Week in Review


I hope you all had a busy and exciting week, we certainly did. This week highlights include the cycle of poverty, UN Day, happiness in the UK, a discussion on gender equality and a video on well-being in Vanuatu.

The Lost Generations (Project Syndicate 24.10.2012)
Jeff Sachs writes about the inheritance of poverty in the U.S. and the pivotal role education plays in the country’s economic success. To break the cycle of poverty, Sachs suggests the U.S. needs to invest in its children’s future,

"One of the shocking realities in recent years is that America now has almost the lowest degree of social mobility of the high-income countries. Children born poor are likely to remain poor; children born into affluence are likely to be affluent adults." Jeff Sachs

On UN Day, Ban calls for renewed commitment to building a better world for all (UN News 24.10.2012)
Wednesday marked the 67th anniversary of the UN Charter coming into forces. In his message, the UN chief said there has been progress on many fronts on the international agenda, however recognised that much more needs to be done.

Happiness index: how does the economy make us feel? (Guardian 23.10.2012)
The UK’s ONS released their latest update from the national measuring well-being programme. The update addresses how economic growth impacts on national well-being and includes indicators such as wealth, employment and health.

The Wikigender Online Discussion, Engaging Men and Boys to Transform Discriminatory Social Norms, asks what are the opportunities and challenges for engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality? Read the comments and have your say here.

Well-Being in Vanuatu
A documentary highlighting some of the key findings from the pilot study on ni-Vanuatu well-being conducted between. The research was conducted by the Malvatumauri National Council of Chiefs and the Vanuatu National Statistics Office.

Stay in touch with us during the week in Twitter and on Facebook.

Yours in Progress,

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Measurement Revolution - 4th OECD World Forum

Jonathan Tanner's picture
Every so often an idea comes along that will change the world.  Not instantly though. A historical glance shows how big ideas that have gone on to transform societies are not often born with a Eureka moment: paradigms usually shift slowly. When Michael Faraday discovered the electric current it took almost half a century for Swan and Edison to create the light-bulbs which showed the world in a new light and greatly increased the amount of potentially useful hours in a day.

It takes time for people to understand and explore the potential of new ways of doing and being. That’s what was happening at last week’s OECD World Forum. There is now a consensus (following on from the creation of the Human Development Index and the Sarkozy commission) among many of the world’s leading statisticians and economists that we have to have a radical rethink about how to assess a country’s performance.

Not only is there consensus, there’s action. A group of technocrats you would never expect to challenge orthodoxy are engaged in a deeply political act. Countries at all stages of development from Canada to Mexico and Bhutan are actively trying to measure wellbeing, going beyond GDP to measure other aspects of life that seem to matter to people. The UK has heralded the 'Happiness Index’ and spawned a number of other initiatives aimed at quantifying the feelgood factor such as the Happy Planet Index. The old adage that ‘there’s more to life than money’ seems to have got through – at least in these quarters.

The move to broaden definitions of national progress has its roots in the wide realisation that GDP, so long the gold standard measure of performance, is seriously flawed. In his keynote speech at the conference Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz outlined how the economic focus has blinded us to other factors that affect our lives such as equality and the environment. It’s good for showing us how busy an economy is, he said, but too easily skewed by leaky tax regimes such as that currently found in Ireland. Other ready examples can be found in states with high levels of oil wealth. Progress may appear on the national balance sheet, but it rarely materialises as much- needed cash for cash-strapped pockets.

So if we don’t just measure the money, what else should we measure? That was the main focus of the discussion in Delhi. Health and education outcomes were obvious candidates but there was also elbow room for the suggestion that issues such as housing, quality of life in old age, nutrition, discrimination and even power are all worthy areas to measure  in terms of improvements in the collective human condition.

At this point the conversation tended towards the technical. There’s a broad agreement that we should be using multi-dimensional measures. There’s also much thought being devoted to whether such multiple measures can be brought to heel in the form of one composite mega-measure. It’s something the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative are looking to achieve.  Development Progress’s latest paper outlines a multi-dimensional dashboard approach to measurement of wellbeing and highlights some of the unexpected and encouraging results a broader look at the performance of African countries in the past decade can bring.

There remain good reasons not to get carried away just yet. Princeton Professor Angus Deaton contributed a reality check when he revealed evidence to suggest that money does make us happy after all, showing that, when taking a different look at the latest available data (admittedly from 2005), there was a clear correlation between higher income and higher assessments of happiness. It was left to Professor Deaton to make explicit too that happiness and wellbeing are highly subjective concepts. Whilst the utility and reliability of such emerging data can be called into question, it will remain a challenge to convince policy-makers to start applying any new findings to national decision-making.

In an interview shortly after his keynote speech Joseph Stiglitz was asked to explain why measuring wellbeing matters so much. ‘It’s quite simple,’ he said. ‘If we measure the wrong things, we do the wrong things.’ To capture a snapshot of people’s contentment with their lot in life will not prove an easy challenge, but on the evidence of the past week the crusading number-crunchers look set to rise to that challenge. One day we may well be thankful to them.

Jonathan Tanner
Development Progress

Development Progress interviewed a number of delegates at the 4th OECD World Forum in Delhi, including Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, to get their views on the conference and wider issues involved in debates about the measurement of well-being.

This blog first appeared on 24 October 2012 on the Development Progress site and can be found here

Monday, 22 October 2012

The threat of youth unemployment in Africa

In his opening address at the OECD’s International Economic Forum on Africa, Olusegun Obsanjo warned that youth unemployment in Africa has reached a critical stage.

Speaking to the committee, the former President of Nigeria stipulated that with well over half of 15-24 year olds out of work, the potential for instability in the region had grown, as seen last year in the violent protests that erupted across North Africa and the Middle East.

In the last decade, Africa has experienced exponential economic growth. Going some way to shrug off the ‘Hopeless Continent’ tag tarred on it by The Economist, Africa created 73 million new jobs between 2000 and 2008 (All statistics in this article are taken from Promoting Youth Employment in Africaand has more recently endured the financial crisis with many economies already growing at rates close to their pre-crisis averages. In line with these figures, six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies (2001-2010) were in sub-Saharan Africa.

On the surface this all seems promising, particulary the burgeoning job figures. However, these stats alone bely an underlying problem; only 10% of Africa’s job market is available to youths.

In almost adjacent fashion to Africa’s economic growth, Africa’s working age population grew rapidly in the last decade, between 2000 and 2008 it increased from 443 million to 550 million, an upsurge of 25%. 
If this trajectory continues then the continent’s labour force will reach 1 billion by 2040. With half of the continent’s population under the age of 20, Africa already has the youngest population in the world.
Despite improvements in education that will see 59% of 20-24 year olds with a secondary education by 2030, compared to 42% today, at present about 133 million young people (more than 50% of the of the youth population) are illiterate. Without the vital skills necessary for entering the labour market this group is marginalized.

Even for the educated youth problems could arise if Africa fails to implement an economic infrastructure that will provide sufficient employment opportunities for them.  Obsanjo emphasized the necessity for this support system, “If youth are given education and skill they will prosper...they must have financial support."

For Obsanjo, the prospect of a vast, under skilled and unemployed youth population is a serious concern – at the Forum he expressed that the disaffection felt by this generation could catalyze more Arab Spring-like revolts across Africa.

According to the World Bank, one in two young people who join a rebel movement cites unemployment as the main reason for doing so. In countries like Liberia, a state that has suffered two civil wars since the late 80s, unemployment is seen as one of the major cause of instability. Even in South Africa, the most developed country in the continent, the effects of high youth unemployment have triggered an upsurge in protests over the last few years,  the AFP (see video below) reports that, “Demonstrations have intensified in poor areas of South Africa with the number of protests rising eight fold in the last seven years – peaking at 111 in 2010.” In a derisive article written for, Glenn Ashton focuses on the South African governments faltering attempts to incorporate its politically active and restless youth into the country’s labour force. While the piece is openly one sided, it does provide further insight into this particular matter.

The devastating consequences of violence are all to clear from the recent horrors taking place in Syria, however, the economic ramifications of civil unrest should not be overlooked. According to the Africa Economic Outlook survey, the Arab revolutions caused “North Africa’s Gross Domestic Product to decline by 3.6 percentage points to near stagnation in 2011.” It is arguable that support systems for jobless youths must be put in place, not only to avoid bloodshed, but to ensure the sustainability of economic development in Africa.

Obsanjo concluded his speech by reminding the committee of the resourcefulness and dynamism of young people, and the necessity of including them in plans for Africa’s economic future. He stressed the importance of maximising the potential of youth by creating policies that provide education and opportunities. He closed with, 
“Youths must see themselves as agents. They must have the right attitude. They must not give up.” 

Robbie Lawrence, Wikichild Coordinator


Friday, 19 October 2012

Week in Review

This week the spotlight shone on the 4th OECD World Forum on “Statistics, Knowledge and Policy”. With over 1000 attendees, the four-day Forum had participants from national statistical offices, government agencies, academia and civil society. It included a combination of keynote speeches, round tables, and themed sessions on material conditions, quality of life, gender and sustainability (see our #Delhi2012 blog for an overview). Here are the highlights from this eventful week.

Quotes from #Delhi2012

Below are a selection of quotes that were tweeted by those at the OECD World Forum or watching the live-webcast. Big thanks to all those who kept us up to date in the Twittersphere!

"The Rolling Stones said, 'you can’t always get what you want'. Well being can’t always be achieved at one time" Allister McGregor  
“If you take equity and sustainability seriously then you have to rethink the Public - Private” Khalid Malik 
"Ideas of change come from the margins not the centre" Amitabh Behar 
“Early Development Index is like the GDP for childrens development” Fiona Stanley
"If you treasure it you measure it" Glenn Everett
"Inequality weakens our economies and undermines our democracies" Joseph Stiglitz
“Our metrics fail to take into account excitement of living with community and purpose” Joseph Stiglitz

Media highlights:

I am pessimistic on Eurozone, IMF optimistic: Stiglitz (Business Standard 17.10.2012)

IMF's India GDP f'cast wrong: Montek (Financial Express 16.10.2012)

Union Minister Srikant Jena Inaugurates 4th OECD World Forum in New Delhi (Orissadiary 16.10.2012)

Plan panel hints at 2 percentage point poverty reduction in 2011-12 (Business Line 16.10.2012)

'Govts should reduce personal, corporate taxes, increase burden on consumption’ (Indian Express 15.10.2012)

OECD in advanced talks with government to open India office (The Hindu 15.10.2012)

Other highlights this week:

International day for the Eradication of Poverty (UNDP 19.10.2012)
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated every year on October 17 throughout the world. This year, Helen Clark called for scaled up efforts to fight poverty,
“today, we do have reason to celebrate the progress made to eradicate extreme poverty, but we must continue to work together on its eradication." 
Happiness in difficult times: The ‘giggle factor’ is gone (Vancouver Sun 18.10.2012)
Economist John Helliwell discusses the importance of measuring subjective well-being and the challenges faced by academics in overcoming “giggle factor” associated with global happiness research.

That’s all from me this week. I hope you can tune in again the same time next week for another edition of the Week in Review.

Yours in Progress,

Philippa Lysaght

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Whats happening at the 4th OECD World Forum #Delhi2012?

As many of you will know, the 4th OECD World Forum - on Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making started on 16 October 2012. 

Building on the Better Life Initiative, the main objectives of the Forum are to further the discussions on the different aspects that make for a good life today and to promote the development and use of new measures of well-being for effective and accountable policy making. Here is a brief run down of the different sessions over the next four days. Don’t forget to watch Wikiprogress’s coverage of the forum on our live feed.

Don’t forget to watch Wikiprogress’s coverage of the forum on our live feed and remember to follow us on Twitter @wikiprogress and offer your own opinion to #Delhi2012 . Get the agenda, list of speaker and more from our special articles on the 4th OECD World Forum.

There will be four parallel workshops taking place on each day of the Forum, details below and round table. Speaker include Joseph Stiglit, Jeffrey Sachs, David Cameron and many more experts! 

Day 1- 16 October - Theme: Material Conditions   

What are the main limits in the statistical system used for monitoring and reporting about inequalities and poverty? How important are these limits from the perspective of giving greater prominence to these issues in the domestic and international policy agenda?

What are the most important analytical and policy issues that better micro statistics on household wealth would allow addressing?

What are the most important dimensions of job quality and well-being at work where current metrics are lacking? What statistical initiatives are ongoing and what else remains to be done?

What are the most important dimensions of housing and urban infrastructure where current metrics are lacking? What statistical initiatives are ongoing and what else remains to be done?

Day 2- 17 October – Theme: Quality of Life

What are the main challenges to the health system that we will likely confront in the future? What type of measures would be needed to manage these emerging challenges?

Why are better measures of education and skills essential to policy and decision-making? How we can ensure that they are developed, i.e. who needs to be persuaded in order to achieve more consistent implementation and how can this happen?

Is there enough knowledge and experience to identify best-practices in the production of better statistics in this field?

What are the main links between effective and responsive institutions and people’s well-being?

Day 3 - 18 October – Theme: Gender Groups in Society 

What are the main factors limiting women’s empowerment in countries at different level of economic development? Do the available data and indicators provide adequate information on these factors? What are the priorities for action in the statistical field? Could indicators of women’s empowerment be better integrated into existing measurement frameworks (MDGs, etc.)?

What are the key dimensions of child well-being and what indicators could be used to monitor them? Do these dimensions and indicators change as children develop? What are the priority areas for improving the measurement of child well-being?

What are the most important factors bearing on the well-being of elderly people? What types of statistics and indicators should be developed and implemented in order to allow regular monitoring?

What are the most important life domains where these minority groups underperform relative to others? What are the most important drivers of these low achievements?

Day 4 - 19 October – Theme: Sustainability

What are the main threats to environmental sustainability? Which population groups are most exposed to environmental degradation? What are the economic risks associated with the unsustainable use of natural resources and the environment? How can we capture the dangers of a loss of natural capital to economic growth?

What are the main implications for well-being of disasters and conflicts, in the short, medium and long term? What have we learned from recent experiences in how such disasters have been managed? Which are the populations most vulnerable to the consequences of different types of natural disasters?

What have we learned from the crisis in terms of the factors that put economic sustainability at risk? What type of statistics would have allowed better assessing the scale of the imbalances that were accumulating in the world economic system before the crisis burst?

Is the notion of ‘social cohesion’ one that could usefully inform policy discussions in developed and developing countries? What is its main manifestation?

Enjoy what should be a fascinating four days.

Robbie Lawrence
Wikichild Coordinator 

Official OECD-India Website:

Thursday, 11 October 2012

India’s Health-Issues and Challenges

Public health is squarely a state responsibility and particularly so in a developing country. It has to go hand-in-hand with sanitation, drinking water, health education and disease prevention.
The challenges facing India’s health sector are mammoth. They will only multiply in the years ahead. Surprisingly many of the challenges are neither a result of the paucity of resources nor of technical capacity. These hurdles exist because of a perception that the possible solutions may find disfavour with voters or influential power groups.

The first malady has been the utter neglect of population stabilisation in states where it matters the most.
The second is the monopoly that an elitist medical hierarchy has exercised for over 60 years on health manpower planning. The result has given a system where high-tech speciality services are valued and remunerated far higher than the delivery of public health services. The latter ironically touches the lives of millions.

Related to this is the third big challenge — how to make sure that doctors serve the growing needs of the public sector when the working conditions are rotten, plagued by overcrowding, meagre infrastructure and a virtual absence of rewards and punishments.

Divergent Attitudes to Birth Control.
In the aftermath of the 1975 Emergency and the odium of forced sterilisations, the emphasis on population control shrivelled in most of North India. While countries like Korea and Iran which then had fertility rates far higher than ours, embraced the joys of planned parenthood, India dodged the subject. In 1994 the country adopted a target free policy and the states were encouraged to implement a “cafeteria approach” while supplying contraceptives.

However the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu unlike the rest of the country went full force to make family planning their top-most priority. No matter which party came to power, political support was there in abundance. In the mid- eighties the programme was spearheaded by no less than the state Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, Mr.T V Anthony, (nick-named Tubectomy-Vasectomy Anthony) which speaks for itself. With enthusiastic politicians, civil servants and doctors joining hands, Kerala and Tamil Nadu reduced fertility rates to equalise European levels. That was more than 20 years ago. Meanwhile, North India (where most of the emergency driven sterilizations had taken place) recoiled from the very mention of family planning- a mind-set that persists even to this day.

The Challenge of Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality
There is a clear correlation between the health of the mother and maternal and infant mortality. In the northern states more than 60% of the girls and boys (respectively) are married well before the legal ages of 18 and 21. The repercussions of early pregnancy and child birth have not even dawned on the pair when they wed. The first child arrives within the year when most adolescent girls are malnourished, anaemic and poorly educated. With no planned spacing between the births, another child is born before the young mother has rebuilt her strength or given sufficient nutrition and mothercare to the first born. These are among the main causes of high deaths of young women and infants. The chart and tables below clearly show the regional difference in maternal, infant and child mortality. Narrowing the gaps poses one of the biggest health challenges.

Regional Variations: Maternal Mortality Ratio* (MMR)
Extract from – Special Bulletin (June, 2011) on Maternal Mortality in India 2007-09 (Sample Registration System) Office of Registrar General, India
*MMR: Maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births

The regional variations in the deaths of mothers in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Assam show that the percentage of maternal deaths is 6 times higher than in the Southern states.

Source: Special Bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India 2007-09 (SRS, 2011) Office of Registrar General, India and Unicef SOWC, 2011

Taken together the EAG States and Assam account for 62% of the maternal deaths. Schemes for nutrition, supplementary feeding, literacy, the right to education and health care remain hollow expressions without any meaning as long as women (and chiefly adolescents) have no control over pregnancy. Unlike other South and South East Asian countries the use of IUD and injectibles has not taken off in India -nor are these the thrust areas for family planning anywhere in the country. Although long term, reversible methods of preventing pregnancy are available, young mothers and children continue to suffer or die. The challenge lies in bringing the issue to centre –stage and not wait for incremental improvements to take place in the fullness of time. The charts below show the colossal difference that has been achieved by the southern states that invested heavily in family planning (albeit through the adoption of terminal methods like sterilisation which can be avoided today.)

Source: Registrar General of India, Ministry of Home   Affairs (SRS, 2011)

Source: Registrar General of India, Ministry of Home   Affairs (SRS, 2011)

Health Management and Manpower Planning
The second challenge relates to a obsession for exclusivity that has consumed the medical sector for too long. The Councils that regulate education and register the practitioners (Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council, Pharmacy Council, Nursing Council) were established with laudable goals- to elect a cross section of doctors and other health professionals democratically and to entrust to them the responsibility for designing and executing professional corses. It was expected that the country’s needs for professional health manpower would be met both qualitatively and quantitatively. But because the Councils were constituted through a political process of elections, the baggage of money, patronage and quid pro quos became a predictable accessory. Today, gaining entry to professional colleges has become highly commercialised-ultimately reflecting in the aspirations of the health fraternity to reap back benefits from huge investments incurred. As the quest to produce specialists and super specialists grows, the production of qualified technical manpower has declined severely creating a mis-match which cannot be corrected by people who work in silos and lack the understanding and vision to think of the country’s health needs in totality.

The Challenge of Establishing NCHRH.
The neglect of public health is one of the fallouts of the elitism that has pervaded medical education. Whereas cities and towns at least have alternatives available- at a price- epidemics and acute illnesses that occur in rural areas often leave people in the hands of fate. The erstwhile elected MCI had relegated public health to the lowest rung of the health hierarchy and the doctors that once decimated dreaded diseases like malaria and smallpox are not to be found. The complement of technical staff, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, lab technicians and operation theatre staff are all in short supply outside the urban areas as the bodies that register them do not work in tandem. More importantly no Council has a stake in health care of any particular state- leave alone the country.

The proposal to set up a National Council for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH), far from being a bureaucratic response was a well thought out strategy having its roots in the recommendations of independent think tanks and expert committees. The rationale for setting up such an umbrella body was to see that the goals of health manpower planning, the prescription of standards, the establishment of accreditation mechanisms and preservation of ethical standards were served in a co-ordinated way, on the lines of structures that operate successfully in other countries.

The Indian Medical Association in particular and doctors in general have been arguing against the need for such a body because they perceive it as a threat to their autonomy and a camouflage for political and bureaucratic meddling. The fact that health manpower planning was simply ignored, that there was a complete lack of coordination between the councils and most important of all the fact that public health had become a low priority have been overlooked in the fire and fury of opposing the NCHRH concept tooth and nail. The challenge today is how to ensure that the health sector produces adequate professionals as required for the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, both for the public as well as the private sector health facilities. If the NCHRH Bill before the Standing Committee of Parliament does not see light of day, the resurrection of the superseded scam-ridden MCI is a foregone conclusion.

The Challenge of Allopathy and AYUSH.
Public health cannot be run on contract basis and much less be farmed out to private insurance companies and HMOs (Health Management Organisations) as a recent report on Universal Health Coverage seems to suggest. Public health is squarely a state responsibility and particularly so in a developing country. It has to go hand-in-hand with sanitation, drinking water, health education and disease prevention. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) which is a public-sector programme has registered an encouraging impact in even the most intractable regions of the country. A UNFPA study has shown that nearly three quarters of all births in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha had been conducted in a regular health facility. The percentage of institutional deliveries in Rajasthan, Bihar in Uttar Pradesh was lower but even so, accounted for almost half the deliveries conducted in those states. Indeed these achievements are immense.
Having said this, institutional deliveries alone cannot be the answer to all the problems that beset the rural health sector. A visit to any interior block or taluka in the Hindi belt states shows that most primary health centres beyond urban limits are bereft of doctors, except sporadically. Some state governments have taken to posting contractual AYUSH*  doctors engaged under NRHM to man the primary health centres. These doctors dispense allopathic drugs, prescribe and administer IV fluids, injections and life-saving drugs, assisted by AYUSH pharmacists and nursing orderlies. This reality must be confronted. If an AYUSH is doctor has been entrusted with the responsibility of running a primary health centre, and found in shape to handle the national programmes, the controversy over what AYUSH doctors can and cannot do must be settled. The trend of AYUSH doctors working in as registrars and second level physicians in private sector hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes is wide-spread in states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab; so also in Delhi and Mumbai. The challenge lies in understanding what can be changed and what cannot be changed, without getting intimidated by protests from Medical Associations that will always protect their turf to retain primacy.

The Challenge of Retaining Doctors.
The most important concern by far is to decide what kind of medical and public health cover is necessary and feasible to be given to people living beyond the bigger towns and cities. If all general duty doctors are making a beeline for post graduation- failing which opting for management, administration and even banking jobs (because cities are better places to live in,) the facts must be faced. Pursuing post-graduation, migrating abroad and prospecting for jobs outside the medical sector cannot be stopped by any Government. But fixed term requirements to stay bonded to the public sector can certainly be insisted upon for state sponsored medical graduates. But equally the working conditions, facilities and remuneration of such doctors should be respectable. In the state of Jammu and Kashmir the compensation given for working in more difficult areas has been graded. Such practical solutions can greatly bolster doctor retention.
At the end of the day, the challenges of the health sector can only be met if doctors, essential drugs and supporting staff are available in the health facilities. The biggest transformation will come if wriggling out of postings and manipulating things through political patrons stops. The doctors will fall in line only if postings are notified through a transparent and fair process and no exceptions whatsoever are allowed. Only the state Chief Ministers and Health Ministers can make this happen. But will they?

*AYUSH refers to Ayurveda, Siddha, Unami and Homeopathy medical systems supported by Yoga . The status of Indian Medicine & Folk Healing can be seen in a publication by the author at ;

Shailaja Chandra will be speaking on Day Two of the 4th OECD World Forum on "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy"


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Summary of the Brazilian National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) 2011: income growth was higher in the lower income classes


The Brazilian National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) studies on an annual and permanent basis the general characteristics of the population, education, employment, income, housing and other, with variable periodicity, according to the information needs of Brazil, such as migration, fecundity, marriage status, health, food security, among other themes. The PNAD 2011 shows that from 2009 to 2011, the real average monthly income grew 8.3%. By income brackets, the largest increase in income (29.2%) was seen in the 10% with lower incomes. Overall, there was a reduction in income growth as its value increased.

PNAD 2011 shows the Gini coefficient in Brazil decreased from 0.518 in 2009 to 0.501 in 2011. Regionally, only the North saw an increase, from 0.488 in 2009 to 0.496 in 2011. In other regions the increase in income was higher for the poorest, and lower for the 10% with the highest incomes. A more significant reduction was seen in the South (from 0.482 to 0.461).

The real average monthly income of permanent households was estimated at R$ 2,419.00 in 2011, representing a real gain of 3.3% compared to 2009 (R$ 2,341.00). There was an increase of household income in all major regions. The Northeast had the lowest variation (2.0%) compared to 2009, as well as the lowest value (R$ 1,607.00).

Women's income amounted to 70.4% of men's income. In 2011, the real average monthly income of men was R$ 1,417.00 and of women was R$ 997.00. Proportionally, women received 70.4%. In 2009, the proportion was 67.1%. In addition, there were proportionally more women employed without income or only receiving benefits (10.0%) than men (5.8%).

Formal jobs increased 11.8% from 2009 to 2011. From 2009 to 2011, there was an increase of 3.6 million employees with a formal contract in the private sector. 74.6% employees in the private sector had a formal contract. The income of employed people grew from R$ 1,242.00 to R$ 1,345.00, from 2009 to 2011. From 2009 to 2011, income of domestic workers without a formal contract increased 15.2%.

There are an increased number of workers with high school and university diplomas. From 2009 to 2011, the employed population increased the percentage of workers with at least secondary education (43.7% to 46.8%) and workers with at least a university degree (from 11.3% to 12.5%), while the percentage of workers with incomplete primary education fell from 31.8% to 25.5%.

There is an increased number of employed people in the sectors of services, trade and construction. The number rose 5.2% in the service sector (41.5 million people), 1.9% in trade and repair (16.5 million) and 13.6% in construction (7.8 million), 2009 to 2011, while falls were recorded from -7.3% in the agricultural sector (14.1 million) and -8.0% in manufacturing (12.4 million).

The increase of employed people in 2011, associated with the reduction of unemployed, brought as a result a significant drop in the unemployment rate, which fell from 8.2% in 2009 to 6.7% in 2011. In the South, PNAD saw the lowest unemployment rate (4.3%) and the highest in the Northeast (7.9%). In 2011, approximately 6.6 million people were unemployed. Despite the significant drop in the unemployment rate in Brazil, a greater difficulty in entering the labor market still persists, for some groups. Of the unemployed, 59.0% were women, 35.1% had never worked; 33.9% were between 18 and 24 years old, 57.6% were black or brown and 53.6% of them had not completed school. PNAD also confirmed the downward trend in child labor (5-17 years) in 2011. In two years, there was a reduction of 14%. However, child labor reaches 3.7 million.

It was observed that the illiteracy rate among people aged 15 or older in Brazil in 2011 was 8.6% (12.9 million illiterates), 1.1 percentage points less than in 2009 (9,7%, 14.1 million illiterates). 96.1% of the illiterate had 25 years or older. Of this group, over 60% were 50 years or older (8.2 million).

Women are more educated than men, especially between 20 and 24 years of age.  In 2011, the population aged 10 years or older had an average of 7.3 years of study. Women, in general, were more educated than men, with an average of 7.5 years of schooling, while men had 7.1 years of schooling.

From 2009 to 2011, the school enrollment rate of children between 6 and 14 years old increased by 0.6 percentage points, reaching 98.2%. As for young people between 15 and 17 years, the percentage dropped from 85.2% to 83.7%, in the same period.

In 2011, the resident population in Brazil was estimated to be at 195.2 million, an increase of 1.8% (3.5 million) compared to 2009. Women represented 51.5% (100.5 million) of the population and men 48.5% (94.7 million). People 29 years old or younger accounted for 48.6% of the population and those that are 60 years old or older, 12.1% in 2009, these values were, respectively, 50.2% and 11.3%, indicating that the population is having an aging trend.

This and other information can be viewed in full in the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) 2011(in Portuguese)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Week in Review

The countdown on the the 4th OECD World Forum is on and I am delighted to share with you an exciting and diverse Week in Review. Highlights include celebrities, a new database, an app and two new reports.

Celebrities, Politics, and Development: Is it a Good Mix? (World Bank 10.04.2012)
With the U.S. election just around the corner, now is a good time to question whether the promotion of causes and political campaigns by celebrities has a positive or negative impact. This World Bank blog post outlines the characteristics required for celebrities to become effective champions for development.

World Inequality Database on Education (Launched)
The World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE), launched this week, measures progress towards achieving Education For All. The database allows users to compare education attainment between over 60 countries and according to key indicators such as inequality, gender, ethnicity and location. Users can also create their own maps, charts and infographics.

Somalia Human Development Report
The UNDP has released the first comprehensive development report on Somalia in 11 years. Somalia has suffered 21 years of civil war, a severe drought and the what is known as one of the world’s most devastating humanitarian crisis. ‘Empowering Youth for Peace and Development’ found that with over 70 percent of Somalis under the age of 30, youth empowerment is key to stability and growth in Somalia's future.

Children and Armed Conflict (App)
A new app aims to translate the progress made on children and armed conflict agenda into negotiations at the Security Council. The app allows users to readily access key documents and information in order to increase the agenda’s impact.

Number Crunch:
By 2050, 2 billion men and women worldwide will be over 60 years old, with 400 million being over the age of 80 years.

Source: Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and A Challenge

That’s about all for this week. If you come across anything that catches your eye be sure to send it on before the next Week in Review.

Yours in Progress,
Philippa Lysaght