Kenya is again in the middle of an economic storm.
The quality of service delivery is fundamental for people's wellbeing, especially for the poor. This is why the situation in Cameroon is worrisome.
Indicators for service delivery in Cameroon tend to trail behind those observed in countries at similar income levels; and for indicators such as primary school completion or child mortality, the country does even worse than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa.
La qualité des services publics est fondamentale pour le bien-être de la population, en particulier les pauvres. C’est la raison pour laquelle la situation au Cameroun est préoccupante.
Les indicateurs de prestations de services au Cameroun sont généralement inférieurs à ceux de pays ayant des niveaux de revenu similaire.
Under-5 mortality is often used—perhaps implicitly—as a measure of “population health”. But what is happening to adult mortality in Africa?
In a recent working paperi , we combine data from 84 Demographic and Health Surveys from 46 countries, and calculate mortality based on the sibling mortality reports collected from female respondents aged 15-49. The working paper is available here and the database we used for the analysis can be found here.
We find that adult mortality is quite different from child mortality (under-5 mortality)1. This is perhaps obvious to most readers, but is clearly illustrated in figure 1. While in general both under-5 and adult mortality decline with per-capita income, and over time, the latter effect is much smaller for adult mortality, which has barely shifted in countries outside Africa between 1975-79 and 2000-04.
But in sub-Saharan Africa, contrary to under-5 mortality everywhere and to adult mortality outside of Africa, adult mortality increased between 1975-79 and 2000-04 and the relationship between adult mortality and income became positive in Africa as indicated by the upward sloping line in 2000-04.
This diverging and dramatic trend for sub-Saharan Africa is mainly driven by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Each year the mass media and many governments look keenly at the country rankings by the Human Development Index (HDI). In the 2010 Human Development Report, Zimbabwe has the lowest HDI in the world at 0.14 on a (0,1) scale (UNDP, 2010). The next lowest is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with 0.24. (Norway is highest, at 0.94.)
It is natural to ask: what would Zimbabwe need to do to get its HDI up to the level of the DRC or better? Zimbabweans will no doubt have a strong interest in knowing the answer, as will those interested in the HDI in general.
There are three components to the HDI, for life expectancy, schooling and income. Let’s look at these in turn.
In March at Oxford, I had the opportunity to debate John McArthur on the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) evaluation, which is the subject of a paper I co-authored with Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development.
I am at Oxford for the annual conference of the Center for Study of African Economies, which runs through Tuesday.
Here's the program with links to many of the conference papers.
I'll present a short version of the paper, which was co-authored with Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development. This will be followed by a presentation from John McArthur, CEO of the Millenium Promise organization. Our session will be the last of the conference, on Tuesday 6-7 p.m. UK time (2-4 pm East Coast U.S. time.)
For background, here are the first, second, third, and fourth earlier posts on the paper and check out our podcast, the MVP response, and commentary from Julian Jamison, Chris Blattman, Eric Green, and Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi.
Here's also video of an extended talk on the MV paper which Michael and I gave in DC in December:
Today we are trying something new.
I wanted to share with you the reasons why I think we can be optimistic about Africa's development prospects, but rather than writing something up, I thought of using video.
Please, share your feedback, not only on whether you agree that Africa is on the right track, but on the video itself. If you like it, I would like to do more of this short video "Development Talks" with the readers of this blog.
Let me know what you think.
Whether African can achieve a Green Revolution has been a perennial question.
Damien’s earlier post called into question one commonly-held view of the cause of the spread of HIV in Africa, namely male promiscuity.
A paper by Pauline Leclerc and others (hat tip to Mark Gersovitz) seems to show that there is even greater uncertainty. Leclerc and co-authors tried to simulate the dynamics of the epidemic in Zambia but found that the parameters needed to fit epidemiological models were beyond what the data would allow.
In short, thirty years later, it appears as if we still don’t know what caused the disease to spread the way it did on the continent. Perhaps there is no single set of causes, and that the evolution of the disease is different in different parts of Africa. Perhaps we should move beyond epidemiological models and look to other disciplines for the answers.
At any rate, to fight the epidemic effectively, we need to know how and why it became an epidemic.