Comments on UN “2014 AMR Part II (17 February - 2 March): Sustaining development gains through inclusive development”, 22/02/2014, https://www.unteamworks.org/node/423746#comment-63704I address the last question listed above first. I think that a set of necessary and widely applicable conditions or strategies for fostering social inclusion and citizen engagement can be identified.
If I can talk about social inclusion and citizen engagement in terms of economic ones because it is an important area and without this any benefits will not be sustainable in the long term.Let's define economic growth as average growth of the economy of a country or a region. Then one can also calculate the economic growth by a set of classification of population based on their income levels, say percentiles. Inclusion can mean a number of concepts, say the lowest 10 percent, 20 percent, or 30 percent have also achieved growth that is not appreciably below the average growth.
Many people are used to using Gini index for equality purposes. Gini index is very useful in measuring income or wealth distribution for a country or region and indeed the whole world if one wishes to do so.I do mind using that but have some concerns on indiscriminately using it to every occasion particularly to situations where changes are rapid and large in some of the underlying indicators like GDP growth. This is because Gini is a static indicator of relativity of income distribution for a particular point of time and can indicate very little about the level. As such, it may mask significant improvement in, say, poverty reduction when economic growth is rapid with the poor benefiting from it but at the same time Gini may show inequality has increased.
China is a case for this where poverty has been reduced significantly but its Gini measure may have worsened.I think the UN should undertake some studies to develop some measures which can improve the shortcomings of Gini in that regard. This work may have important applications in managing expectations and contributing to a better and happier society by showing a true picture.