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Contar o que conta para o desenvolvimento

NOVA IORQUE – Para a maioria das pessoas, a melhor maneira de medir o “desenvolvimento” é pela quantidade de mudança, seja pelos ganhos no rendimento médio, na esperança de vida, ou nos anos passados na escola. O Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano (IDH), um indicador compósito sobre o progresso nacional, supervisionado pelo meu gabinete no Programa das Nações Unidas para o Desenvolvimento, combina estas três estatísticas para classificar os países entre si.

Contudo, o que muitos não percebem é que esta métrica, apesar de ser útil, não conta toda a história do desenvolvimento. Na verdade, para compreendermos o grau de desenvolvimento de um país, também precisamos de apreender a maneira como o progresso afecta as vidas das pessoas. E para compreendermos isso, temos de considerar a qualidade da mudança que está a ser comunicada.

Quando os estatísticos comparam países, precisam de dados que sejam compatíveis. Para comparar a escolaridade, por exemplo, os investigadores contam o número de alunos matriculados em cada país, em proporção do número total de crianças em idade escolar (ainda que até isto possa ser difícil no caso de inúmeros países em desenvolvimento, onde a manutenção de registos nem sempre está normalizada).

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