A new global research network on poverty and inequality dynamics launched

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending global poverty by 2030 will require that high growth rates are sustained and that growth is inclusive and shared across society so that poverty reduction is maximised. The former, high and sustained growth, is best driven by structural change. This is not least to avoid a growth slowdown or a contested ‘middle- income trap’. However, structural change may be associated with rising disparities between the rich and poor as noted. In contrast, inclusive growth and its earlier iterations in pro-poor growth and growth with equity are best achieved with steady or falling inequality to maximise poverty reduction. How to manage this tension or trade-off between structural change and inclusive growth is a crucial contemporary question for developing countries as they seek to end poverty as well as pursue economic development.

These challenges are the motivation of the establishment of the Global Poverty and Inequality Dynamics (GPID) research network. The network is co-lead by Dr. Andy Sumner (King’s College London), Dr. Kunal Sen (Manchester University) and Dr. Arief Anshory Yusuf (SDGs Center, Universitas Padjadjaran). It is funded by the UK ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The objective of the network is to build a new research programme across a set of countries that are home to many of the world’s poorest people. It is intended to establish and build the intellectual foundations and academic and non-academic network necessary for a future comparative research project on the area of poverty and inequality in emerging economies.

The launching of the network was part of the agenda of a workshop held in the Royal Society of Arts, London UK from 20-21 April 2017. Prof. Armida Alisjahbana (Director of UNPAD SDGs Center) also participated in the workshop with Dr. Arief Anshory Yusuf (Executive Director of UNPAD SDGs Center).

The objective of the workshop attended by 25 renowned researchers from all over the globe is to scope the state of the art and decide the key questions around the following issues. First, is what models of economic development are most likely to secure rapid economic growth and structural change with an expanding share of national income for the poor? And second, how are governments to use public policy to manage the trade-off between structural change and inclusive growth?
Future workshops will be held in Washington, US in collaboration with Center for Global Development (CGD) and in Indonesia in collaboration with UNPAD SDGs Center.

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