Over the years various indices and poverty measures have been developed to try and estimate the number of people living below the poverty line. The latest in this long line of poverty measures is the Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) UNDP, the MPI aims to provide a more detailed assessment of poverty at the individual level. In India, the MPI estimates that 55% of the country’s population is poor. Read more »
Pakistan may soon have a law guaranteeing citizens the right to access information held by the government, following the introduction of a new Right to Information Bill in the National Assembly of Pakistan. Moved as as private member's bill, the draft law aims to improve upon and replace the existing Freedom of Information Ordinance 2001.
In August 2009, AI and the Centre for Development Finance, Institute for Financial Management and Research organised a conference entitled “From Outlays to Outcomes - Getting Development from Development Expenditures” in New Delhi. The papers presented at the conference have been featured in a special issue of India Review (Volume 9 Issue 2 2010). Read more »
Health Care Spending Rising Faster Than Economic Growth In Industrialized Countries – OECD Health Data 2010
While India is still struggling to live up to the “Nine is Mine” dream (calling for 9% of GDP to be committed to health and education), according to OECD’s Health Data 2010, in leading industrialized countries, the health care spending is rising faster than economic growth. The study reports: Read more »
An essential aspect of ensuring that benefits reach the desired beneficiaries includes the ability of beneficiaries to hold the power holders to account; to make them responsible for their behaviour and actions. In the context of the debate on right to food, the first draft bill formulated by the government, titled ‘The National Food Security Bill’, failed to comprehensively address such core concerns. Accountability issues were largely glossed over with only respite involving a commitment to ensure the monitoring of finances by the Gram Sabha, through the medium of social audits. Read more »
Yamini Aiyar and Gayatri Sahgal
On Friday, relevant ministries in the Government of India and the National Advisory council are going to start a round of negotiations to finalize the much awaited food security bill. The key issue up for debate is the question of universalization of the entitlement. The initial draft bill restricted the entitlement to the country’s poorest. The current negotiations are an effort to push for universal coverage as well as for a wider grain basket. Read more »
An elderly man, standing beside his daughter, is yelling and waving his arms. “A tree is overhanging his property and polluting his pond” whispers my Malayalam translator. “He wants it removed, but the panchayat has done nothing”. The man pauses briefly before resuming his offensive. His embattled target is another elderly man, a retired high court judge – the Ombudsman of Kerala. He is here in the northern city of Kannur in Kerala for two days to hold sittings and hear grievances – though they are not all as colourful as this one.