The conclusions of the Global Poverty Consensus Report (GPCR), an ASAP effort to identify academic consensus on priorities for poverty alleviation, will soon be tested. ASAP board members Gilad Tanay and Keith Horton are working with a small research team to analyze the results of fifty interviews with academics on poverty-alleviation policy post-2015. In the coming months, they hope to produce a map of areas of agreement and disagreement on policy priorities for the development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.
The conclusions Horton and Tanay draw will be tested in a survey of academics who have published on topics related to global poverty.
David Rodríguez-Arias, a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Spanish National Research Council, led the effort to create a comprehensive database of academics around the world who have published peer-reviewed papers on global poverty in the last three decades. He and his team of volunteer researchers managed to gather basic data and contact information for 1,429 different academics who had published on topics relevant to the GPCR.
Rodríguez-Arias sees an urgent need for the GPCR effort. “Within the academic field of global justice,” he said, “too much focus on disagreement sends the misguided and potentially paralyzing message to the society that a common agenda for global poverty eradication cannot be defined. Academic experts in global poverty need to be consulted when policy makers define sound and effective policies. In that respect, this is a very important moment: the Millennium Development Goals are about to expire, and the post MDG framework is being defined. Any academic consensus on what the Beyond 2015 agenda should look like can achieve a considerable positive impact for the face of global poverty during the 21th century.”
Rodríguez-Arias and Tanay identified six academic disciplines that are highly relevant to the field of global poverty: social science, economy, political science, philosophy, public health and environmental studies. For each of these disciplines, Rodriguez-Arias searched a prominent bibliographic database for papers on the Millennium Development Goals, global poverty, and development policy. Volunteer researchers Janina Pescinski, Mario Ascolese, Amy Wood, Beatriz Carrillo, Iason Gabriel, and Gulrez Azhar turned this long list of publications into a database, complete with authors’ names, affiliation, location, and contact information.
Pescinski described the process as being “as broadly inclusive as possible, from disciplines to geography”. She said “it was especially difficult to find contact info for non-
Northern or non-English speaking scholars, but I think this speaks to many of the inequalities ASAP targets”.
Ascolese had not expected they would identify so many academics writing on the topic of global poverty and development. “It was stunning and encouraging,” he said. “It means that many efforts already exist to promote change in academia, and that maybe a project aiming at coordinating these efforts can be useful”.