Academic asks 'where is the international outcry?' as new index reveals poorest regions in PNG

Apr 23, 2012

Papua New Guinea's "poorest" region - the resource rich Western Province - would rank just above Zimbabwe but below the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of human development according to new data unveiled by Deakin University's expert in International Development, Professor Mark McGillivray, at the Papua New Guinea: Securing a Prosperous Future conference.

"If PNG's Western Province was a country there would be an international outcry about their plight, given its appalling low levels of human development," he said.

Professor McGillivray's analysis used the principles of the Human Development Index to create a new measure which specifically looked at the districts and provinces in Papua New Guinea. This has not been done before.

"The United Nations Development Program's Human Development Index (HDI) is well-known and widely used in research and policy circles," Professor McGillivray explained.

"It combines achievements in health, education and income and is primarily used to compare levels of human development between countries.

"The Human Development Index is typically applied at the level of countries, not to parts of countries.

"This means that it is blind to achievements and disparities within countries.

"When we apply the principles of the Index to provinces and districts within PNG, we find not only huge but levels of human development that are extremely low by international standards."

Professor McGillivray said based on one version of the Human Development Index as a country is ranked 121 out of 137, so down towards the bottom.

"Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe has the lowest level of human development and is ranked 137, at the very bottom," Professor McGillivray said.

"The conflict-affected is ranked 136.

"Yet if the resource rich Western Province was a country it would be ranked in between and Congo and as such among the three very poorest in the world in terms of human development."

Professor McGillivray said that the National Central District – the province with the highest in PNG - would rank 99th in the world if it was a country, between Morocco and Tajikistan and slightly ahead of India.

Explore further: Huge congregations view racial inequality differently than others do, study shows

Related Stories

Norway the best place to live: UN

Nov 04, 2010

The United Nations on Thursday named oil-rich Norway as the country with the best quality of life, while Asia has made the biggest strides in recent decades.

A better way to measure global poverty

Jul 14, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new poverty measure that gives a 'multidimensional' picture of people living in poverty is launched today, which its creators say could help target development resources more effectively. ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals a common beat in global music

8 hours ago

A new study carried out by the University of Exeter and Tokyo University of the Arts has found that songs from around the world tend to share features, including a strong rhythm, that enable coordination ...

When times are tough, parents favor daughters over sons

9 hours ago

In tough economic times, parents financially favor daughters over sons, according to researchers at the Carlson School of Management and Rutgers Business School. Their study, forthcoming in the Journal of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.