chapter  1
1 Pages

National or International Poverty Lines or Both? Setting Goals for Income Poverty after 2015

WithJoshua Greenstein, Ugo Gentilini & Andy Sumner

Debate on what should follow the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2015 onwards has mushroomed. This paper discusses MDG 1, income poverty. Our paper is a commentary written to contribute to the set of papers in this special issue. This paper argues that there are relevant critiques from the human development and human rights perspectives. These should be taken into account more fully in the debate on what should follow MDG-1 on income poverty reduction (and the implicit hierarchy of placing income poverty as the “first-among-equals” goal). We review the institutional history of MDG-1, and present various projections with regard to income poverty by the international poverty lines of $1.25 and $2/day, as well as the long-running discussions on the relationship between and relevance of nationally set versus internationally set poverty measurements. We argue for the importance of national ownership and the incorporation of context-specific measures of poverty, and that any new poverty goals should be designed with political mobilization as a consideration.