Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Report on the World Social Situation 2010

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has just published its flagship report entitled "Rethinking Poverty:Report on the World Social Situation 2010". The report makes a compellingcase for rethinking poverty and poverty-reduction efforts, with the aim of advancing the global dialogue on effective strategies.
The report points out that popular measures of poverty, such as poverty lines or extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day for 2005) can be misleading, which has direct implication for policymakers. It argues that we must adopt a multidimensional approach to poverty reduction that addresses inequality and social exclusion through the universal provision ofessential social services.
The report stresses the importance of universal social policies, which can ensure the basic well-being of all, including those in poverty and at risk, and can contribute to counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies, thus contributing to economic recovery. It advocates for a ‘social protection’ floor that can serve as an effective safeguard against poverty, even during an economic crisis.
Furthermore, the report argues that public policies should be oriented towards ensuring equitable and sustainable development, with the promotion of full and productive employment and decent work for all as a central objective of macroeconomic policy.
"It is time to rethink the way we understand poverty, how it is measured, and the policies used to address it. A more comprehensive strategy to reduce poverty, that puts decent jobs at the centre of development strategies, is needed to improve the lives of current and future generations."
The full report can be found here. The executive summary can be found here.