Friday, July 30, 2010

Political will: measured while you wait

I have a paper making the rounds that measures the political will to reduce hunger. One part of that index is based on what people talk about when they attended the World Food Summit and its follow up meetings. Now this is a little qualitative/poli-sci for some economists' tastes. But it's really quite easy to see in practice:

Africa News Blog:
bellinghamBritain’s new coalition government made its priorities on Sudan very clear as Henry Bellingham, the minister for Africa, used 90 percent of his opening remarks at his first press conference in Khartoum to outline how Britain could increase trade with Sudan.
The other 10 percent dealing with the run-up to the south’s referendum on secession... and the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for genocide all seemed like just an afterthought.
At the end of the three-hour long session we had to put together the key messages for political leaders. When the AU assembly opened the following day, no political leader mentioned nutrition in their address. The main theme - maternal and infant health - got little mention. A substantial portion of the speeches were devoted to the conflicts raging in the continent. ... Mkandawire [head of NEPAD's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme] added optimistically, "We just need the political will to drive the process, and it can happen."

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