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Working with the World Bank - The Future of Poverty in Fragile States

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Pardee Institute for International Futures

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Since September, Barry Hughes, Gary Milante (formerly of the World Bank’s Center on Conflict, Security, and Development or CCSD), and I have been working on a project that models the potential for poverty reduction in fragile states (see USIP page for more work on this) to 2030.  In the paper, we explore some alternative scenarios that improve the poverty outlook for these countries from our “Base Case” forecast, and then compare our results to the poverty eradication goals set by the World Bank and others. So what were some of our conclusions?

Fragile State Extreme Poverty Rate in 2030: 20%

Our first task with this paper was to identify a plausible low-end poverty rate in fragile states by 2030. To do this, we modeled many alternative scenarios, including higher economic growth rates, more equal income distribution, improved governance, and decreased conflict.  Of these scenarios (including combinations of many of them, too), the lowest poverty rate bound in fragile states appears to be around 20% by 2030.

20 percent is an aggressive, but reasonable goal for fragile states

Our modeling suggests that a 20 percent poverty rate should be an aggressive but reasonable development target for fragile states in 2030.  The current discussion around extreme poverty targets argues that a 3 percent target is desirable.  However, a one-size-fits-all target for developing countries does not capture domestic context that could inhibit development.  Fragile states suffer from a range of development challenges, and a more reasonable—yet still aggressive—poverty development target should be set. 

For more posts from Alison on her work at the World Bank, click on the links below:

Other News/Blog Posts from the Pardee Center:

International Futures as a Fundraising Tool

What is the "Base Case" Forecast?

Jonathan Moyer Presents at Strategic Studies Summit in Thailand

Pardee Center Delivers Research for Population Services International

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