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Policy Forum Pod: Getting the measure of global poverty

14 October 2018

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Professor Sharon Bessell is Director of Gender Equity and Diversity and heads the Children’s Policy Centre and the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on social policy for children and she currently teaches Global Social Policy (POGO8044) and Development Theories and Themes (POGO8072).

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If the world is to have any chance of eradicating poverty by 2030, it has to understand it first. This week on Policy Forum Pod, we hear from two leading figures working on the front line of measuring and addressing the problem.

From Bill Gates to the United Nations, everyone wants to end poverty. But what does ‘poverty’ actually mean – beyond simply having a low income? How does it affect men and women differently? And do policymakers working to tackle the problem really understand the experiences of the people they’re trying to help? This week on Policy Forum Pod, host Martyn Pearce chats with Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank, and Sharon Bessell, a lead designer of a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty. Topics discussed include whether the World Bank has changed its tune on development since the 1980s, how to close the global data gap between men and women, and where to find the next low-hanging fruit when it comes to eradicating poverty.

Listen to the podcast here.

Dr Caren Grown is Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank Group and an internationally-recognised expert on gender and development.

Sharon Bessell is a Professor at Crawford School of Public Policy, where she co-leads the ANU Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) Program, a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

The Individual Deprivation Measure

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Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

This episode of Policy Forum Pod was produced and edited by Martyn Pearce.

This post and podcast was first published on, Crawford School’s platform for public policy debate, analysis, views, and discussion.

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