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千年发展目标

(2010-09-27 23:14:22)
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杂谈

 


千年发展目标

Global targets, local ingenuity

全球目标,各国智慧


In ten years, the living conditions of the poor have been improving—but not necessarily because of the UN’s goals

贫困人口的生活条件在这十年间一直在改善——但是不一定是因为联合国定下的那些目标。


Sep 23rd 2010 from The Economist



EVEN at 70, Jiyem, an Indonesian grandmother, gets up in the small hours to cook and collect firewood for her impoverished household. Her three-year-old grandson is malnourished. Nobody in her family has ever finished primary school. Her ramshackle house lacks electricity; the toilet is a hole in the ground; the family drinks dirty water. Asked about her notion of well-being by researchers from Oxford University, Jiyem said, “I cannot picture what well-being means.”

印度尼西亚的老妇人Jiyem尽管已年逾古稀,仍然凌晨起来为生活贫苦的一家人做饭、收拾柴火。三岁的孙子营养不良。全家没有一个人小学毕业。摇摇欲坠的房子没有电;厕所就是地上的一个洞;全家喝的是不干净的水。当来自牛津大学的研究者问Jiyem认为健康幸福是什么时,她这样回答:“我想象不出健康幸福是什么样子。”

The sort of deprivation Jiyem describes remains widespread. The United Nations reckons that in 2008 over a quarter of children in the developing world were underweight, a sixth of people lacked access to safe drinking water, and just under half used insanitary toilets or none at all. But while these figures are disquieting, a smaller fraction of people were affected than was the case two decades ago. So such data also indicate the world’s progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets adopted by world leaders at the UN ten years ago.

Jiyem描述的这种贫困仍然广泛存在。联合国估计2008年发展中国家中超过四分之一的儿童体重低于一般重量,六分之一的人口无法取得安全饮用水,不到一半的人使用的是不卫生的厕所,或者根本没有厕所可以使用。尽管这些数字令人不安,但二十年前有更少一部分人所受影响比上述情况还要严重。所以这些数据同时也证明全世界为了实现千年发展目标而取得的进步(MDGs),MDGs是十年前各国领导人在联合国制定的一系列目标的总和。



The leaders gave themselves 15 years to reach the goalposts set in 2000. Two-thirds of that time is up. This week they returned to the UN for another meeting. Few, if any, of them have close experience of poverty. So the MDG exercise has at least made them spend three days discussing matters they might prefer to ignore. It has also helped to shift the debate away from how much is being spent on development towards how much is being achieved.

领导人们承诺要用十五年的时间来完成2000年确立的一系列目标。如今,三分之二的时间已经过去了。本周,他们重返联合国举行另一次大会。他们中几乎很少有人亲身体验过贫困的生活。所以实行MDG需要花费至少三天时间来讨论那些以前他们可能更愿意忽视的问题。而且还使辩论的重点从需要耗费多少资金来实现发展目标转移到实现了多少发展目标。

But few go as far as Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, who recently called the goals “a milestone in international co-operation” that had helped “hundreds of millions of people around the world.” Talking up the MDGs is, of course, part of Mr Ban’s job. And there has indeed been progress on many fronts (see table 2). But it is hard to assign much credit to the exercise itself.

但是很少有人像联合国秘书长潘基文一样,最近他表示千年发展目标“是国际合作的里程碑”,帮助了“全世界数亿人民”。当然,宣传千年发展计划是潘先生工作的一部分。而且很多方面确实取得了进步(见表2)。但是却很难把过多功劳归结于计划运行本身。



Take the goal of halving the poverty rate from its 1990 level by 2015. The World Bank reckons that in 1990 46% of the developing world’s population fell below the internationally accepted poverty line of $1.25 a day at purchasing-power parity. By 2005 the rate had fallen to 27% and, despite a slowdown in progress in the past couple of years, it is now probably lower still. A global halving by 2015 seems well within reach. Yet this “victory” is mainly due to a drop in China’s poverty rate from 60% in 1990 to 16% in 2005. Because China and India accounted for over 62% of the planet’s poor in 1990, changes to the world’s poverty rate depend heavily on their performance. A global goal is therefore a poor way to give the governments of smaller countries an incentive to tackle poverty.

例如,该计划定于在2015年前使贫困率减少到1990年的一半。世界银行估计1990年发展中国家中46%的人口生活在国际公认的贫困线下,即同等购买力每天为1.25美元。到2005年,该数字降至27%。尽管贫困率最近几年下降速度减缓,但现在可能更低了。到2015年前降至23%似乎很容易实现。但是该项“胜利”主要归功于中国的贫困率由1990年的60%下降到2005年的16%。这是因为1990年时,中国、印度两国的贫困人口占全球贫困人口的比例超过62%,全球贫困率的改变主要取决于中印两国的表现。所以,一个全球性的目标很难激励一些小国政府解决贫困问题。

Alison Evans of Britain’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI) reckons that the MDGs have come to be seen as applying to each developing country. But it is hard to track performance at country level: 28 of the poorest countries have recorded poverty rates for only one year between 1990 and 2008, according to a tally by researchers at the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank in Washington, DC. This makes any judgments about their progress mere guesswork. (This caveat does not apply with equal force to the global target, because China and India have enough data to make their progress measurable.)

英国海外开发协会的艾利森?埃文斯认为,MDGs在每个发展中国家都开始实施。但是却很难追踪到各个国家究竟成果如何:根据位于华盛顿一家名为“全球发展中心:的智库的研究人员的记录显示,1990年到2008年间,最贫困国家中的28个只记录了一年的贫困率。这使得任何对贫困国家的进步的评价都沦为猜测。(不过这个警告却对全球目标起不到同等的作用,因为中国和印度有足够的数据来衡量它们的进步。)

The ODI reckons that 15 poor countries have already met the goal of halving the poverty rate. And perennial pessimists about Africa’s prospects may be surprised to know that the list of the top ten countries ranked by the average annual decline in the poverty rate includes six in Africa: the Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic and Guinea.

海外开发协会称有15个贫困国家已经实现贫困率减半的目标。对非洲前景长期持悲观态度的人如果了解以下事实可能会大吃一惊:在以每年贫困率减少的平均值排列的国家名单中,前十位里非洲国家就占了六席:冈比亚、马里、塞内加尔、埃塞俄比亚、中非共和国和几内亚。

But lack of data aside, there is something odd about setting uniform targets such as “cutting child mortality by two-thirds”, which means that some countries must do much more to avoid being classed as failures than others. Niger is a case in point. Between 1990 and 2007 it cut the number of children per 1,000 who died before their fifth birthday from 304 to 176. This was the biggest absolute reduction of any country in the world. But Niger is still judged “off-track” to meet its target, because continuing at the current rate will still result in a reduction of slightly below two-thirds. Its government may well find the MDG exercise mildly discouraging.

但是除了缺少数据,某些共同目标的确立很奇怪,比如“儿童死亡率减少至三分之一”,意味着一些国家必须更加努力才能避免被归为失败者。尼日利亚就是一个例子。1990年到2007年间,该国五岁以下的儿童中每千人的死亡人数从304人下降到176人。同任何其他任何一个国家相比减少得最多。但是尼日利亚仍被评价为离实现目标还有很大差距,因为以目前的速度继续下去,减少量将略低于三分之二。该国政府很可能感觉千年发展目标的实施有些令人气馁。

Money’s limits

经费的限制


The goal-setting exercise has further pitfalls. Too often, the goals are reduced to working out how much money is needed to meet a particular target and then berating governments for not spending enough. Yet the countries that have made most progress in cutting poverty have largely done so not by spending public money, but by encouraging faster economic growth. China is the most obvious example. The best performers in Africa, too, are those that have managed to speed up growth. As Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank’s chief economist for Africa, points out, growth does not just make more money available for social spending. It also increases the demand for such things as schooling, and thus helps meet other development goals. Yet the goals, as drawn up, made no mention of economic growth.

这种确立目标后再实施的手段还有其他缺点。这些目标常常变成计算出实现某个目标需要多少钱,然后指责政府没有投入足够资金。然而,那些在减少贫困方面进步最大的国家往往并不是通过花费很多公共资金,而是通过刺激更快的经济增长来实现的。中国就是一个最显著的例子。非洲表现最好的国家也是那些成功刺激经济增长的国家。正如世界银行非洲地区首席经济学家珊塔?德瓦拉扬指出的那样,经济增长并不只是意味着为社会支出获得更多的资金,它还使教育等需求增加,进而帮助其他发展目标得以实现。但这些目标的提出并没涉及经济增长。

Of course, as India’s dismal record on child malnutrition demonstrates, growth by itself does not solve all the problems of the poor. It is also clear that while money helps, how it is spent and what it is spent on are enormously important. For instance, campaigners often ask for more to be spent on primary education. But throughout the developing world teachers on the public payroll are often absent from school. Teacher-absenteeism rates are around 20% in rural Kenya, 27% in Uganda and 14% in Ecuador. In Rajasthan in northern India, nurses who were supposed to be staffing primary health clinics were found to be at work only 12% of the time over an 18-month period.

当然,像印度那样在儿童营养不良方面有不良记录的国家,就证明增长本身并不能解决穷人的所有问题。还有一点很清楚,那就是尽管钱可以帮忙,但是怎么花、花到哪儿非常重要。比如,竞选者常常要求在基础教育方面投入更多资金,但是纵观所有发展中国家,工资来自共有资金的教师常常缺勤。肯尼亚农村地区的教师缺勤率为20%,乌干达为27%,厄瓜多尔则为14%。在印度北部的拉贾斯坦邦,那些本应该在基础医疗诊所工作的护士18个月的时间里只在那里工作12%的时间。

In any case, money that is allocated for such services rarely reaches its intended recipients. A study found that 70% of the money allocated for drugs and supplies by the Ugandan government in 2000 was lost to “leakage”; in Ghana, 80% was siphoned off. Montek Ahluwalia, of India’s Planning Commission, said last year that he reckoned only 16% of the resources earmarked for the poor under the country’s subsidised food distribution scheme ever reached them. Money needs to be spent, therefore, not merely on building more schools or hiring more teachers, but on getting them to do what they are paid for, and preventing resources from disappearing somewhere between the central government and their supposed destination.

不管怎样,为了这些服务筹集的资金鲜有到达本该得到钱的人手中。一个研究发现2000年乌干达政府为药品和日用必需品筹集的资金中,70%的资金流失;在加纳,80%的资金流失。印度计划委员会的蒙特克? 阿卢瓦利亚估计去年针对穷人的国家食品补助发放计划的资源中只有16%到了他们手中。所以,需要花钱,不仅要花在建立更多学校或聘用更多老师身上,而且还应该花在保证他们到岗工作方面,他们也是得到酬劳的,也应该花在防止资金在中央政府和原定目的地之间流失。

The good news is that policy experiments carried out by governments, NGOs, academics and international institutions are slowly building up a body of evidence about methods that work. A large-scale evaluation in Andhra Pradesh in southern India has shown, for example, that performance pay for teachers is three times as effective at raising pupils’ test scores as the equivalent amount spent on school supplies. In Rajasthan, teachers were paid only on showing a date-stamped photograph to prove they had been in class on a given day. This led not just to a massive decline in absenteeism, but also to better pupil performance.

好消息是由政府、非政府组织、学术机构和国际机构开展的政策实验正慢慢地积累起一些证据来证明哪些手段有效。印度南部安德拉邦进行的一项大规模的评估显示,比如,一些资金花在教师身上,学生成绩的提高是同样的钱花在学校设备上时的三倍。在拉贾斯坦邦,教师如果想得到报酬,只有出示印有当天印戳的照片来证实那一天他们教课了。这样做不仅大大地降低了缺勤率,也帮助提高了学生们的成绩。

And in Uganda the government, appalled that money meant for schools was not reaching them, took to publicising how much was being allotted, using radio and newspapers. Leakage was dramatically reduced. The World Bank hopes to bring such innovations to the notice of other governments during the summit, if it can. For if the drive against poverty is to succeed, it will owe more to such ideas and their wider use than to targets set at UN-sponsored summits.

在乌干达,政府因为害怕本来给学校的资金用到别的地方,于是习惯通过广播和报纸宣传资金的分配情况。资金流失大大减少。世界银行希望在大会期间,其他国家也能了解这类创新举措。因为如果成功地激发起人们对抗贫困的动力,那么这些好点子和更广泛地使用它们要比联合国主办的大会上设立的目标更加有功。

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