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Tool

2005

Poverty Analysis. Poverty and Dominance. EAYSPol Series 035

This analytical tool illustrates how some simple poverty measures may be linked with dominance conditions between particular types of curves. This strongly resembles the dominance conditions already set out in the case of Lorenz curves1. In particular, dominance conditions will be derived for the headcount ratio and for the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) measures showing that, under certain conditions, the poverty line specification is not necessary. This module also introduces the concept of the Three I’s of Poverty (TIP) curve. As a way to analyse poverty, this module is based on a different approach to poverty measurement. Nor does it recourse to [...]

Tool

2005

Decentralization of Agricultural Services. Decentralization of Input Supply and Marketing Services. EASYPol Series 015

This paper examines the main characteristics of agricultural inputs and marketing services, including factors affecting demand and supply for major categories of services, namely fertilizers and chemicals, seeds and planting materials, agricultural machinery and equipment, and crop marketing. The main sources of market failure are outlined. The conceptual framework which underpin the main approaches to decentralization of these services and key factors that need to be considered are next discussed. The importance of the regulatory role and adoption of a regulatory strategy are highlighted. Policy implications, in terms of possible options for decentralization (divestment, deconcentration, devolution and establishing partnerships), and [...]

Tool

2005

Decentralization of Agricultural Services: Decentralization of Rural Financial Services. EASYPol Series 014

This paper first examines the characteristics of rural financial services, including demand and supply factors in rural financial markets. It draws attention to past failures of centralized and directed rural credit services, and the emergence of a new broader vision of rural financial services, based on liberal economics and decentralization policies. The conceptual framework for reform of rural financial services is discussed, and important principles of decentralization reiterated. Policy implications, in terms of options for decentralization, and the roles and responsibilities of the government are next examined. Various options which might be considered under deconcentration, devolution, and diversification of ownership of [...]

Issue paper

2005

Decentralization and Agricultural Development: Decentralization of Agricultural Services. EASYPol Series 013

This issue paper provides an overview of “Decentralization of Agricultural Services”. It first explains the range and importance of agricultural services; the traditional role that governments had assumed in their provision; consequences of public sector interventions; and the perceived need for institutional reform, including a reduced role for central government in service provision. It then examines the conceptual framework for policy decisions. Aspects highlighted are the economic rationale for government intervention; functional responsibilities for service provision; and challenges and risks in diversifying provision. Options for reforming agricultural services and how the reform process would need to be planned and managed [...]

Issue paper

2005

Decentralized Development in Agriculture. An Overview. EASYPol Series 012

This issue paper provides an overview of “Decentralized development in agriculture”. It explains what decentralization is about, including who is involved and the various forms and dimensions of the process. There are various practical expressions of decentralization in agricultural and rural development, including country efforts at: reform of agricultural services; natural resource and environmental management; and development or refinement of planning and management processes. This paper next examines the potential benefits of decentralization, possible drawbacks and risks associated. Conceptual and practical issues that have an important bearing on policy decisions on decentralization are discussed. This focuses on the changing roles and relationships, posing important questions on whether there is need for [...]

Tool

2005

Impacts of Policies on Poverty: Axioms for Poverty Measurement. EASYPol Series 008

This analytical tool illustrates on what basis a poverty index should be chosen. In particular, it discusses the desirable properties that a poverty index should respect. These desirable properties are called axioms. Four classes of axioms will be discussed: focus axioms  monotonicity axioms transfer axioms symmetry axioms As users will see, there is no single measure of poverty that respects all axioms at the same time. Choosing a poverty measure may therefore imply a trade-off between different aims. This paper is part of a FAO Policy series: EASYPol-Resources for policy making (in agriculture, rural development and food security). To find other EASYPol series' resources, go to [...]

Tool

2005

Social Welfare Analysis of Income Distributions. Ranking Income Distributions with Lorenz Curves. EASYPol Series 001

This analytical tool illustrates how Lorenz Curves can be used to identify the best income distribution on social welfare grounds, within a set of alternative income distributions generated by different policy options. After highlighting some drawbacks of using specific functional forms of the Social Welfare Function (SWF) to infer welfare judgments, the rationale for using Lorenz Curves to rank income distributions is provided in a step-by-step procedure and is illustrated with some simple numerical examples. This module also points out the limitations of Lorenz dominance and highlights how, in some circumstances, it is necessary to use Generalised Lorenz (GL) Curves. Generalised [...]

Tool

2005

Charting Income Inequality. The Lorenz Curve. EASYPol Series 000

This analytical tool explains how to build Lorenz Curves for income distributions and discusses their use for inequality measurement. A short conceptual background, a step-by-step procedure and a simple numerical example illustrate how to calculate and draw Lorenz Curves. A discussion on the use of Lorenz Curves to represent inequality is also provided. It highlights that the Lorenz Curve is one of the most used ways of representing income distributions in empirical works thanks to its immediate comparability with a “natural” benchmark, the Equidistribution line, representing the most egalitarian distribution. The concepts of Lorenz dominance and intersection of Lorenz Curves [...]

Tool

2005

Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security

The objective of the Voluntary Guidelines is to provide practical guidance to States in their implementation of the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security, in order to achieve the goals of the World Food Summit Plan of Action. They provide an additional instrument to combat hunger and poverty and to accelerate attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.  The Voluntary Guidelines represent the first attempt by governments to interpret an economic, social and cultural right and to recommend actions to be undertaken for its realization. Moreover, they represent a step towards integrating human [...]

Report

2004

Agricultural Development Policy. Concepts and Experiences

Agricultural Development Policy: Concepts and Experiences, prepared under the aegis of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), presents a fresh and comprehensive look at agricultural development policy. It provides a clear, systematic review of important classes of policy issues in developing countries and discusses the emerging international consensus on viable approaches to those issues. The text is unique in its coverage and depth, and it Cites policy experiences and applied studies in eighty countries. Develops the conceptual foundations for policies. Illustrates policies that have worked and those that have not, with explanations of why. Summarises hundreds [...]