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Many different indicators are used to monitor poverty and poverty-related deprivations. Two kinds of legitimacy worries may arise about any such indicator: one regarding its reliability as a measure of progress and another regarding the uses to which it is being put. This essay will touch upon both worries, beginning with the latter.
Many of our interactions in the twenty-first century - both good and bad - take place by means of institutions, technology, and artefacts. We inhabit a world of implements, instruments, devices, systems, gadgets, and infrastructures. Technology is not only something that we make, but is also something that in many ways makes us. The discipline of ethics must take this constitutive feature of institutions and technology into account; thus, ethics must in turn be embedded in our institutions and technology. The contributors to this book argue that the methodology of 'designing in ethics' - addressing and resolving the issues raised by technology through the use of appropriate technological design - is the way to achieve this integration. They apply their original methodology to a wide range of institutions and technologies, using case studies from the fields of healthcare, media and security. Their volume will be important for philosophical practitioners and theorists alike.
Though they improve upon the millennium development goals (MDGs), the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) have important draw-backs. First, in assessing present deprivations, they draw our attention to historical comparisons. Yet, that things were even worse before is morally irrelevant; what matters is how much better things could be now. Second, like the MDGs, the SDGs fail to specify any division of labor to ensure success. Therefore, should progress stall, we won't know who is responsible to get us back on track. We won't “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” without an agreement on who is to do what. Third, although the SDGs contain a goal calling for inequality reduction, this goal is specified so that the reduction need not start till 2029. Such delay would cause enormous death and suffering among the poor and enable the rich to shape national and supranational design in their own favor.
Dignity is not an independently existing thing, but an attribute – of human beings, for example. It is essential to our notion of dignity that it has two distinct but related meanings. Using one meaning, we say that each human being has an inherent dignity, which is inalienable and equal for all. Using the other meaning, we say that the dignity of human beings is precarious and stands in need of social protection.
We find both meanings used side by side in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In the first three occurrences of the word, it is used in its first sense:
recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world
(UDHR, Preamble, paragraph 1)
the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women
(UDHR, Preamble, paragraph 5)
[a]ll human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights
(UDHR, Article 1)
In the next occurrence, ‘dignity’ is used in its other sense:
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international cooperation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
(UDHR, Article 22)
To call these rights indispensable for dignity is to say that any person lacking in these rights also falls short in dignity. Article 22 thus suggests that dignity is both alienable and possibly unequal: those who have dignity can lose its indispensable preconditions and therefore dignity itself – and will then not be ‘equal in dignity’ with those who still have it.
Hunger continues to be one of humanity's greatest challenges despite the existence of a more-than-adequate global food supply equal to 2,800 kilocalories for every person every day. In measuring progress, policy-makers and concerned citizens across the globe rely on information supplied by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an agency of the United Nations. In 2010 the FAO reported that in the wake of the 2007–2008 food-price spikes and global economic crisis, the number of people experiencing hunger worldwide since 2005–2007 had increased by 150 million, rising above 1 billion in 2009. However, in its State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 (SOFI 12) the FAO presented new estimates, having revamped its methods and reinterpreted its hunger data back to 1990. The revised numbers for the period 1990–1992 to 2010–2012 reverse the trend to a steadily falling one. Based on the FAO's new calculations, extreme undernourishment peaked in 1990 at a record-breaking one billion, followed by a significant decline through 2006, when progress stalled but did not reverse (see chart below).
This article offer reasons why academics should feel compelled to play a more direct role in the alleviation of global poverty, specifically through participation in a new international network, Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP). Academics have the specialized training and knowledge, and the societal role, that make them particularly well equipped to make a significant contribution. They also have responsibilities to answer sometimes spurious or misleading claims made about aspects of global poverty by others in the profession, and to highlight ways in which their own governments are implicated in the perpetuation of severe global poverty. By joining forces with like-minded others in a group such as ASAP, they can enhance their own impact on poverty dialogue and policy outcomes. Those academics already playing prominent direct roles—for example, as government consultants, in public discourse, or through leadership in professional associations—can deepen their influence through sharing their insights and expertise with other ASAP members