impoverished child Thomas Trutschel | Getty Images

Bekijk armoede niet alleen in getallen

ASUNCIÓN – Wat is armoede? Tientallen jaren lang hebben we het met een getal gedefinieerd, waarbij de Wereldbank momenteel een inkomen van minder dan 1,90 dollar per dag aanhoudt. Maar de complexiteit van armoede kan niet met één getal gevangen worden. Het is essentieel om meer dan inkomen te meten om de behoeften van armen te begrijpen en optimale hulp te bieden.

Nu de Wereldbank volgende week bijeenkomt in Washington, DC voor zijn Spring Meetings  hebben we een kans om criteria te stellen die de sociale en omgevingsdimensies van armoede meenemen. De Bank heeft erkend dat er meer dan inkomen in overweging genomen zou moeten worden, en stelde onlangs de Commissie Wereldwijde Armoede in om aanvullende meetgegevens aan te bevelen.

Alhoewel veel publieke en commerciële organisaties al data verzamelen over een hele serie zaken die arme gemeenschappen beïnvloeden, zoals voeding, gezondheid van moeders, of toegang tot onderwijs, blijft zulke informatie grotendeels ongebruikt en wordt deze zelden gedeeld tussen instituties. Maar er zijn lichtpuntjes, waaronder de Social Progress Index, die een kader biedt voor het opsporen van meerdere symptomen van armoede tussen landen onderling en die de traditionele op inkomen gebaseerde metingen complementeert.

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