Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Questioning the hunger number

Questioning the hunger number


The Millennium Development Goals, agreed to in 2000, will be up for review next year. Reducing extreme poverty by half was achieved in 2010, but when it comes to the number of people going hungry – the results are much less impressive.

Professor of Economics at Waikato University John Gibson says it’s actually impossible to tell how much the hunger count has dropped because of problems with the methods used for measuring whether or not people are getting enough food each day.

Professor Gibson is part of World Bank funded study looking at many aspects of living standards around the world. He says the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) currently has the number of people going hungry at about 840 million, but for a number of reasons, that count is doubtful. Prof Gibson says there is a problem with using surveys because designs vary from country to country.

To test their concerns with surveys, Prof Gibson and his colleagues from the World Bank and Tanzania randomly assigned seven different survey designs to more than 3,500 households. They chose urban and rural settings in Tanzania because it’s in Sub-Saharan Africa where the FAO says the proportion of hungry people is highest and hunger prevalence is increasing. Field work covered 12 months.

“We had some people keeping detailed food diaries with daily checks by interviewers for two weeks, while some had to recall what they’d eaten when the surveyors came to visit their houses. Some had frequent visits, some had infrequent visits by the surveyors. Some had long lists of food items to choose from, others had short lists.” Professor Gibson says all these variants are commonly used survey designs and the results were extreme.

“We found that how food consumption was measured yields vastly different estimates, ranging from 19% to 68% of the population being counted as hungry. That’s a difference of more than 23 million people in Tanzania, and across all Sub-Saharan Africa these differences would amount to hundreds of millions of people potentially being misclassified as either hungry or not hungry depending on what survey method was used.”

Professor Gibson is urging standardisation of survey methods for household survey design around the world. Until then, he says comparisons of hunger across countries and over time should be considered as fraught with measurement error.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news