More inequality trends country reports underway

05 Aug 2022 | By Charmaine Smith
Image with the national flags of Mali and Mozambique
05 Aug 2022 | By Charmaine Smith

ACEIR’s diagnostic tool that is used to produce the inequality trend reports consists of a thorough analysis of various inequalities in a given country, which will help their government to identify the priorities and policy options to reduce them. The analysis is based on a Handbook on Inequality Measurement for Country Studies developed specifically for the country diagnostics by ACEIR researchers at the Southern African Research and Development Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town. Datasets from national statistical agencies are used for the analyses.

The inequality diagnostic is used in each country as a platform for policy engagements on strategies to overcome inequality, to stimulate national dialogue and national research focus on inequality, and to lead the national discussion through further high-impact research papers from that country’s ACEIR research team. Insights from the country reports also are used to help inform international dialogues on poverty, inequality, and sustainable development.

Adding Mali and Mozambique to the series of country inequality reports brings new research partners into the ARUA fold.

It also contributes to ACEIR’s dual aim of positioning African researchers centre stage of the analysis of local inequalities and building the quantity and quality of African researchers working in this area.

“Africa’s inequality dynamics should be an important piece of the international inequality puzzle. We cannot simply accept that concerns over poor data push the specificities of African inequality dynamics to the periphery” says Prof Murray Leibbrandt, director of both ACEIR and SALDRU.

“There is a double danger here. Africa needs to ensure that it is included in the international measurements. At least as importantly, the continent must ensure that the specifics of our societies are considered in the analysis of the factors causing inequality and of the consequences of inequality. It is this analysis that is the basis for policy interventions and civil society action to turn the tide on inequality.”

“It is disastrous, therefore, to fail to measure and understand the African realities.”

Dr Anda David, an economist who is heading the AFD’s research programmes on inequality, poverty, and international migration, agrees: “If we want to be serious about reducing inequality, we need to have the right tools and the baseline data to identify priorities and relevant strategies. The inequality diagnostics are one of these tools as they allow a complete overview of the state of inequalities and the main challenges.” 

Dr David says that ACEIR’s approach to conduct the inequality diagnostics in partnership with local institutions, especially with national statistical offices, is crucial for a development institution like the AFD. 

“This approach ensures a stronger ownership of the analysis and the results. As such, the inequality diagnostics represent an ideal tool which can support national governments in their decision-making; academia through the structuring of data hubs, thus enlarging the opportunities for inequality analysis; and for the broader civil society by providing transparent and reliable data on the key element for social cohesion – an equal society.”

For the reports underway, the ACEIR team is working with researchers from the Institut National de la Statistique (INSTAT) Mali (National Institute of Statistics Mali) to produce the Malian Inequality Trends Report. For the Mozambique report, ACEIR is working with IESE, the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económico – an independent Mozambican non-profit organisation, which conducts and promotes interdisciplinary scientific research on problems of social and economic development in Mozambique and southern Africa.

Training will be provided for appropriate members of the two organisations’ staff, and to the ACEIR researchers who are driving the analyses and report writing process. They are Moisés Siuta (Mozambique), and Dr Modeste Senou (Mali/Burkina Faso/Ghana). 

Visit the inequality trends research page.

Image: Flags by Allexxander via Freepik