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News, information & discussion

On this page we provide links to a range of knowledge, ideas and data on poverty, inequality, economic, social and environmental progress. Please contact us to ask for more details or to add to the information and ideas here.

Martin Ravallion 1952 to 2022:

an inspiration on addressing poverty and inequality. 

Leaving No One Behind and Reaching the Furthest Behind First are imperatives at the heart of Agenda 2030.

For us, Martin Ravallion’s work has been both an inspiration and an authoritative guide to making these principles central, not only to ODA, but to how every country should count progress. 

So his passing just before Christmas 2022 is a chance to revisit his work and recommit to these ideas.

Most people will associate Ravallion with the ‘dollar a day’ poverty line. This managed to combine rigorous use of data to measure poverty – with a soundbite which focused political attention on doing something about it.

Later in 2023 we will publish here some key ideas, drawn from his work, with links to original papers.

But right now, two immediate thoughts. 

First, in an era when social protection was not widely supported by aid agencies, he was challenging the ideas like a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’, highlighting the evidence that inequality was holding back growth and poverty reduction, with “no obvious alternative to targeted transfers barring unacceptable neglect”.

Second, based on his work on the consumption floor, is the fact that if you don’t ensure that the floor is rising, you build in increasing inequality.

We are now closer to 2030 than 2015 when the SDGs were agreed. But priority to the poorest – in policy attention and resources – remains rhetoric rather than reality in most countries. 


As Ravallion argued in his 2015 paper ‘Are the world's poorest being left behind?’ (ECINEQ WP 2015 – 369,, progress against poverty should not be judged solely by the level of the consumption floor, but this floor “should no longer be ignored in practice”.


Prioritising steps to ensure that the gap between the poorest and everyone else does not continue to widen, needs to be the acid test of commitment to the principle of Reaching the Furthest Behind First.

Judith Randel speaking alongside Martin Ravallion at CSIS in  Washington. 

You can read more on the DSA Ireland website.

Disability inclusive development:
Counting the needs, rights and contributions of people with disabilities.

Public Good is pleased to be working with Irish Aid on disability inclusive development. This is part of a process of informing and defining a longer-term strategic approach to advancing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities across the broad range of DFA interventions.


The work led by Judith Randel and Florence Ndagire involves analysing spending trends. But also discussions to capture the non-financial ways that Ireland has been promoting disability rights and inclusion across its different business units, through its influencing agenda, engagement and relationships.


The mapping exercise will provide the evidence and knowledge base to inform and define longer term strategic approaches in line with the National Disability Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 and Ireland's commitments under Articles 32 and 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

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