Morten Jerven Morten Jerven

Development by Indicators: Knowledge and Governance

In this workshop organized at Nantes by Boris Samuel and me on May 5 and 6, 2015 we will investigate the role of indicators in economic development. We will explore how numbers structure knowledge about economic development and how they give rise to social and political processes. Finally we will also shed light the on the importance of numbers for the day-to-day operations of economic development and for global governance.

The questions will be organized under three main umbrellas:

1. Numbers in mobilization: From MDGs to SDGs

There is a need to reflect on where the quantification in development is taking us. The success of quantifiable targets sometimes overshadows the significance of unquantifiable aspects of economic development. The effects of the growing use of indicators in mobilizing for development,  and the proliferation of indicators need also to be questioned.

2. Numbers for governance: Ruling by numbers

Are statistics a part of the façade of operating international economic development, or are we really seeing ‘evidence based policy’ in economic development? Are there identifiable benefits of good data and costs of bad data? Which are social and political processes based on the inflation of indicators? Are there any unintended consequences for local development introduced by using global indicators of development?

3. Measuring and governing poverty

What do we know about the poor?  We will address this question by studying the process of defining, measuring and then taking action about aspects of poverty. How does information flow from ‘the poor’ to the informational centers of the world?

The full program is here. Mary Morgan is giving the keynote. It is free to attend for those who register.  Also, for those who are doing work on indicators and their role in development, note this interesting looking call for papers here.


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