Productivity Indicators for the Rural Poor in Developing Countries

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Meeting the Millennium Development Goals will necessarily require a heavy focus on rural areas, where most of the world's poor are to be found. More specifically, policy will need to raise the productivity of this group, which includes farmers, wage labourers and those suffering from disease and malnutrition. Yet, at present, no index exists which can assess countries on the basis of technological indicators that bear heavily on the productivity of the rural poor. A wide variety of unresolved problems notwithstanding, this paper constitutes the first attempt to construct an index that is designed specifically to assist those who are concerned with rural-specific policies towards meeting the MDGs.

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