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Reports on Poverty
To find out where money can be most effectively spent in the fight against poverty, we need to have access to a great deal of information about the prevalence and shape of poverty in the world. Luckily there is a wealth of such information available on the internet if you know where to look. Here are a number of key reports and sources of data. While there are many subtle complexities behind world poverty, these reports have been designed to be accessible and include useful summaries of their findings in addition to their detailed analysis.
Human Development Report
The Human Development Report is an extensive document put together each year by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Despite its scope, it is surprisingly accessible to the interested reader. It features a significant amount of analysis on the year's theme (such as 'water' or 'trade') and provides a detailed body of statistics on the state of human development in all the world's countries, It does this via statistics in different areas of life and an overall Human Development Index which is the weighted average of its measures in health, education and income. As well as the reports themselves, the UNDP provide direct access to some of their most interesting statistical data.
The Copenhagen Consensus
The Copenhagen Consensus is a process for establishing a set of global priorities . Every two years, experts in fields such as global health, education, and conflict prepare reports on how their problems can be most efficiently addressed, and these proposals are then ranked by a panel of leading economists.
CIA World Factbook
The CIA World Factbook contains detailed statistics about all countries as well as aggregate statistics for the world as a whole. It is not focused on poverty, but nevertheless contains a wealth of comparative information.
Gapminder is an organization dedicated to development statistics. Their mission has two parts. The first is to open up to the public the huge amount of development data that has been gathered by the UN and other publicly funded groups. The second is to present new ways of easily understanding this complex data. They are doing this via their online visualizing software, Trendalyzer, which is a very useful tool for examining the state of the world and its historical trends. Their excellent presentations explain many of Trendalyzer's powerful features.
Disease Control Priorities Project
The Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP) is a group dedicated to evidence based research on priorities in global health. Their most useful resource is probably their extensive list of health interventions in the developing world and their relative efficiencies. They also offer useful fact sheets, and in-depth reports.
WHO-CHOICE is a project run by the World Health Organization, which assesses health care interventions based on their cost-effectiveness. It is similar to the DCPP, but has slightly different aims and methods.
Poverty Action Lab
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is an organization dedicated to performing experimental trials on aid effectiveness in the developing world.
Nationmaster allows easy comparisons of different countries according to a large set of statistics in health, economics, government, and more.
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