Monday, 22 March 2010

More tweets

Some tweets from A4e's Roy Newey:
  • India is the most exciting place on earth for skills development, get involved in our consortiums now.
  • How do you choose which starving child to help? Answer - you don't. Help us to help all children in poverty in India
  • Kasia (A4e) is presented to Prince Charles in Poland in recognition of her work to help unemployed. Congratulations, fantastic.
  • Looking forward to review International Development tomorrow. Do you have any thoughts about where in the world A4e should be?
  • World Water day. What has that to do with A4e? It is a major driver of poverty in India. Our work must support those affected.
  • Yes you did. Well done. Now let's tackle the 50% of children in London living in poverty.
  • A4e breaks new ground in Australia.
  • Poland enters an exciting phase are you able to partner with a4e Polska to give skills and match into work?
Let's be charitable. Let's assume that Mr Newey is sincere in his belief that by expanding its business through more of the world's poorest areas it can help them out of poverty. I would suggest that he needs to do some reading. He could start with Benny Dembritzer's "The Attack on World Poverty". Unless Mr Newey begins to understand the causes of poverty he will continue to sound ridiculous.


  1. You hit the nail on the head when you say "Let's assume that Mr Newey is sincere in his belief that by expanding its business through more of the world's poorest areas it can help them out of poverty"

    If A4e really wanted to help reduce poverty, either in the UK or overseas, wouldn't they be better to support existing charities and other voluntary organisations that have a already have a track record and a committment that isn't driven by the profit margin!

  2. poverty is subjective. In some countries they can live with a low level of income.

    The term is relative poverty. Cost of livinghas to be added, resources and lack of due to overpopulation. I have a friend in brazil he owns his own small coffee plantation, and he puts all his profits back into it. Now the people living there have a HIGH living standard, with low living costs, They only get a fraction of what we get.

    So by our definition, of amount of money they get they are in poverty, but in reality they have a better quality of life than us.

    Its all relative

  3. Add to my previous post, i am guessing they are urban indians,rather than rural

    India's official poverty level, on the other hand, is split according to rural vs. urban thresholds. For urban dwellers, the poverty line is defined as living on less than 538.60 rupees (approximately USD $12) per month, whereas for rural dwellers, it is defined as living on less than 356.35 rupees per month (approximately USD $7.50). By this measure, only 27.5% of Indians live in poverty,whereas by the World Bank standard of $1.25 per day, 42% of Indians live in poverty.

    so the definitions are anyones guess..

  4. Some interesting points, which we probably are not going to agree on. Poverty is not subjective. I'm talking about the absolute poverty (as defined by the World Bank), not relative poverty as it exists in all countries.

  5. Historian is right. Sociologically speaking, there are two kinds of poverty. Relative - where you compare yourself to others in the society where you live and absolute - where you compare yourself to people in other countries. That's how governments measure it!

  6. I think "absolute poverty" is about comparing someone's income with the ability to survive! I really would recommend Dembitzer's book as a concise introduction to the subject. My original point was that, not least in India, the problem is far more complex than Roy Newey's twittering suggests.

  7. In basic terms I think (remembering my GCSE Sociology I did at college) that if you cannot afford food, clothes, a roof over your head, your living in adsolute poverty. These are survival items unless you're Rambo and can live off the land!

    If you cannot aford a TV, a microwave oven, internet access or a decent fridge, then your living in reletive poverty as you are reletively poor compared to others in Britain.

  8. The definitions of absolute and relative poverty I used was from studying Sociology at A Level, but that was 25 years ago so perhaps the defintions have changed over time.


    Absolute poverty, are underpined by value judgements that we in the west decide. interesting

    Ok, so actually it's not that easy. You also have to choose whether you are going to use an income poverty line (if you earn less than it you are poor) or a consumption one (if the dollar value of the goods you consume is less than the line you are poor). This difference is particularly important in subsistence economies where people may earn little but still have an adequate lifestyle through the goods they gather from the land.

    Then you have to decide whether your line is to be person or household based. And, if you're using households you'll have to worry about something dreadful called household equivalence ratios.

    Finally, you'll also have to take into account the fact that in different places different goods will have different costs. The large variation in housing costs between regions in New Zealand is the reason why our government's low income lines are calculated based on income after with housing costs removed. The World Bank's gyrations over purchasing power parity reflect their attempt to control for the differing costs of goods in different countries.

    so the terms absolute and relative are subjective. Whats necessary here is less necesaary there, and vice versa.


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".