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DFID Consultations, London

World Development Report 2006: Equity and Development

June 21-22, 2004
London, England

Francisco Ferreira participated in two days of discussions at DFID, in London.  He was a discussant in a seminar where two previously commissioned papers on inequality and growth were presented, by Oliver Morrisey (Nottingham) and Also and Teal (DFID and Oxford) respectively. He also presented the WDR outline to a lunchtime audience. Some of the main comments received in those interactions were:

  • Positioning of the report in terms of the "growth versus redistribution" debate. Although a commentator agreed that this debate is perhaps not often couched in particularly helpful terms, he felt that we should be careful NOT to undermine lots of work (on the part of various donors) to get very poor countries to focus squarely on economic growth as the key means to poverty reduction.
  • There was interest in the details of our chapter on "inequality and conflict". People felt that most of the evidence (Paul Collier and collaborators were mentioned) was that inequality was NOT the main driver of civil wars.  Poverty, economic stagnation and natural resource dependence were.
  • There was a plea for the team to look more explicitly at context / causes / determinants  of the various inequalities they describe.
  • Some suggested that there might be scope for a "macro-regional" layer between the within-country and global approaches to inequality. South-south groupings like the G-20, and continental associations such as Africa's NEPAD were mentioned as examples that there was action at this intermediate layer which was worth looking at.
  • There were renewed pleas for historical examples of successful "growth with equity" experiences.

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