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Progress for everyone? Measuring inequality and why it matters

'By looking at averages when measuring progress, we are looking at a biased view of what we have been able to achieve. Only by looking at inequitable distributions of our progress, can we really understand whether or not we are achieving progress.'

Inequality doesn’t just hurt the poorest people – it hurts whole societies, leading many to argue that tackling inequality should be at the centre of the next development framework – not on the periphery.

In this interview, Alex Cobham – Research Fellow, Center for Global Development (CGD), Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva – Head of Research, Oxfam GB, and Amanda Lendhart - Chronic Poverty Advisory Network, consider the many ways in which inequality might feature in a post-2015 development agreement.

Discussion focuses not only on the importance of exploring inequality when measuring progress, but also examines different measures such as the Palma Index - a more intuitive and policy-relevant instrument than the commonly used Gini coefficient for tracking inequality - and examines what governments should do to tackle inequality if such a goal is included in the post-2015 development framework.