How are we doing on poverty and hunger reduction? A new measure of country performance
The paper presents a new composite indicator - the poverty and hunger index (PHI) - to measure countries' performance toward achieving millennium development goal No.1 (MDG1) on halving poverty and hunger by 2015. Building on the statistical structure of the human development index, the PHI combines all five official MDG1 indicators, thereby generating insights on a country's net progress towards its own goal, as opposed to progress measured by a single yardstick. Nonparametric analysis on the PHI components provides further evidence on the nature of the relationship between poverty and hunger measures, while cross-country results show significant variance in progress between and within regions. An extension of the PHI allows for consideration of the rate of progress made by each country in its own terms; that is, based on where it needs to be to attain all 5 MDG1 targets by 2015. Countries needing priority attention are identified, as well as areas for future research and recommendations for post-2015 initiatives.
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