Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Poverty and Equity

During the IIASA/NRF Poverty and Equity Workshop last week we heard a lot of people talk about Poverty and Equity but really what is the definition of poverty? Should we be focusing on the relative rather than the absolute?

My interest in the workshop was to speak to both IIASA and the NRF on the possibility of a Southern version of the YSSP I participated in last year, a YSSSP if you will. Nimi (the other South African YSSPer from 2010) and I discussed the concept and I wondered afterwards. Why do we as South African researchers try so hard to collaborate with European and American researchers, but what about the rest of Africa, the SADC region or even the other "south" nations, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Egypt? Surely they have more insight into the problems we face and have perhaps created unique solutions that are more indigenous in nature than a possible "north" solution? I've often thought of "North" vs "South" mentality as an Ivory Tower vs African Optimism.