Poverty reduction strategies
“Targets and timelines” is the new mantra for anti-poverty activists, and increasingly, governments. When it comes to climate change, taking it seriously means setting goals and deadlines to meet them, a process now underway, if perhaps too slowly. The same is true for poverty reduction. If we are serious about eradicating poverty (say, over the course of a generation) we need those targets and timelines to focus our attention in policy making, and to serve as a comparator for evaluation.
The Library of Parliament has two new reports on poverty reduction strategies: one on plans in Newfoundland and Quebec; the other on plans in the UK and Ireland. Both are short briefing note length pieces but give a good overview of the fundamentals that we should think about moving poverty reduction strategies forward in other jurisdictions.
That said, some joker out there will surely comment that we can never eliminate poverty when we use relative poverty measures. I disagree: if we take a relative measure like half the median income, poverty is zero if we raise all incomes below half the median above it. The same is true for the LICO.