So What?

Poverty Measured and Impoverished Debate

October 14, 2016  • Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program

“So What?” – Your BI-Weekly Guide to Advocacy With Impact
Lovingly selected and lightly snarked by Team APEP: David Devlin-Foltz, Susanna Dilliplane, and Alex Gabriel

BYOM (Build Your Own Measure)

Good news; global poverty has decreased! This means more persons around the world now earn over $1.90 per day. But for those who take a pill called cynicism every morning, this news leaves a bitter taste like artificial sweetener. And much like artificial sweetener, the artificial poverty line might give a misleading impression about well-being. Fortunately, the World Bank offers the opportunity to build-your-own-measure. This database endows you with the power to manipulate the original data for yourself to get a fuller picture.

Radical Incrementalism

Last Sunday’s ugly Presidential candidate debate leads us to talk counter-intuitively about the potential for actual negotiated compromise between the parties on major issues. Imagine that! In this piece from the SSIR, the Bipartisan Policy Center underscores the value of incremental change – seeing politics again as the “art of the possible.” Authors Jason Grumet and Chris Gates ask foundations to make some “little bets” on achievable change. A challenge to philanthropists, advocates — and evaluators — to define, value, and assess the payoff. And HT to Kristen Grimm for flagging this article

Does it even matter?

It takes buns of steel to make it through this election and resist the relentless mudslinging disguised as debates. But do these debates matter? And is all this mud helping win anyone over? Debates give an opportunity to see the candidates (all too) side-by-side. But many political scientists are doubtful that they actually impact the election. All the mudslinging may alienate as many voters as it attracts. But with this presidential campaign already defying so many expectations, only time will tell.

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