The PSE international conference, 2011

In January 2011 the PSE: UK research project ran the Second Peter Townsend Memorial Conference, 'Measuring Poverty: The State of the Art'.

Leading international researchers gathered in Bristol to examine poverty measurement around the world. Below you can hear from participants at the conference.

Over the two days of the conference, speakers from across the globe, on a region by region basis, examined how their own country measured poverty and its application for policy purposes. You can download the powerpoint presentation slides (ppt files) under each speaker below.


The First Peter Townsend Memorial Conference was held in the Conway Hall, London on 20 November 2009.

Dr Aya Abe
National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (NIPSSR), Japan
Aya K. Abe is a senior researcher at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (NIPSSR), a research arm of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan. Aya has been part of the Japanese research team for the UNRISD project on Political and Social Economy of Care. Her main field of research is poverty, social security and public assistance. She is one of the leading researchers on poverty and inequality in Japan, especially with regard to children, and her recent book, Child Poverty: Rethinking Fairness in Japan (Iwanami Shoten, 2008), has prompted political debate. She was awarded the Avon Award for Women in 2009, and the Nikkei Economic Literature Award in 2008 for her co-authored book Seikatu Hogo no Keizai Bunseki (Economics of Public Assistance, Tokyo University Press, 2008). She serves on numerous government committees. She studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and received an MA and a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Japan

Professor Julio Boltvinik 
Centro de Estudios Sociológicos, El Colegio de México, Mexico
Julio Boltvinik has been Professor at El Colegio de México since 1992. Member of the national System of Researchers (level III), member of the Scientific Committee of CROP (Critical Research on Poverty); member of the Citizen Board of the Council for the Evaluation of Social Development on Mexico City. He has dedicated 30 years to studying and fighting against poverty. He has published many books, articles and chapters, most of them on poverty. He received the National Journalistic Prize (2001) and the prize for the best PhD thesis in Social Anthropology (2006).
Presentation slides: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement in Mexico

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw
University of York, UK
Jonathan Bradshaw is Professor of Social Policy and Associate Director of the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York. He is a leading expert in the area of child poverty and a member of the Poverty and Social Exclusion 2011 research team.
Presentation slides: Measuring Child Poverty 

Dr Eldin Fahmy
University of Bristol, UK
Eldin Fahmy is a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies, University of Bristol and a member of the Poverty and Social Exclusion 2011 research team.
Presentation slides: Developing Poverty and Social Exclusion Measures

Madior Fall
AFRISTAT, Observatoire Economic et Statisque d’Afrique Subsaharienne, Mali
Madior Fall has been based in the Social Statistics team at AFRISTAT since January 2010, and actively contributes to EUROSTAT Unit 2 on Poverty and Social Exclusion. He has previously worked with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) at the Paris School of Economics, and with the Laboratoire d’Economie Appliquée (LEA). Prior to this, he was Policy Officer at the Social Statistics department of the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), where he worked closely with Eastern European countries on poverty and living conditions. Madior’s research interests include inequality, poverty and income formation and the measurement of wellbeing; retirement behaviour in France; agricultural market regulation and income distribution; intergenerational transfer.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Francophone Africa 

Professor David Gordon
University of Bristol, UK
David Gordon is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice at Bristol University and Director of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research. He had been involved in poverty research both in the UK and internationally over many years and is the project lead in the Poverty and Social Exclusion 2011 research team.
Presentation slides: Introduction to Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK

Professor Björn Halleröd 
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Björn Halleröd is Professor in Sociology at the University of Gothenburg. His research has mainly concerned living conditions, distribution of economic resources and poverty. Halleröd is currently leading one research programme funded by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (Welfare and Work in an Ageing Society) and another funded by the Swedish Research Council (Work, Labour Market and Poverty). He is participating as a partner in the FP7-financed project Workable – Making Capabilities Work and in the Marie Curie International Training Network – EduWell, also funded by the FP7. He is also a member of the MOD – Multidisciplinary Opinion and Democracy Research Group’s steering committee at the University of Gothenburg.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Sweden

Dr Daniel He-chiun Liou 
Asia University, Taiwan
Dr Liou has studied public finance at National Chengchi University before doing his Masters at the Department of Economic and Related Studies, University of York, and his PhD at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol. His primary research interests are poverty, social exclusion and social policy for the Taiwanese indigenous people. He is now conducting a National Science Council research project on the development of indicators of poverty and social exclusion in Taiwan.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Taiwan 

Professor Ruth Levitas
University of Bristol, UK
Ruth Levitas is Professor of Sociology at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol. She had been involved in research into poverty and social exclusion, including the SEU-funded multi-dimensional analysis of social exclusion (2007) that generated the Bristol Social Exclusion Matrix (or B-SEM). She is a member of the Poverty and Social Exclusion 2011 research team.
Presentation slides: Measuring Social Exclusion

David McLennan
Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASASP), University of Oxford
David McClennan is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford, and Deputy Director of CASASP. His interests lie primarily in the fields of small area poverty and deprivation. He has a special interest in the relationships between deprivation, spatial inequality and crime. He has worked on poverty measurement in South Africa with Dr Gemma Wright, Deputy Director of CASASP.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in South Africa

Professor Brian Nolan 
University College Dublin, Ireland
Brian Nolan is Professor of Public Policy in the School of Applied Social Science. He previously worked in the Economic and Social Research Institute, where he was Head of the Social Policy Research Division, and in the Central Bank of Ireland. He is a UCD graduate and has a doctorate in economics from the London School of Economics. Dr Nolan’s research interests are poverty; income inequality; the economics of social policy; the Welfare State; health economics and health inequalities; social indicators; and the EU’s social inclusion process. He recently co-edited The Handbook of Economic Inequality for Oxford University Press. He is research coordinator of the GINI Project funded under the EU Commission’s FP7 programme, investigating the social and political impact of growing inequalities (see
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Ireland

Bryan Perry
Ministry of Social Development, Wellington, New Zealand
Bryan Perry is a Principal Advisor in the policy and research section of New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development, with responsibility for research and advice on a wide range of matters relating to poverty measurement and trends, and on material living conditions more generally. He was previously the Ministry’s research manager. His research interests include poverty and income distribution; income inequality; the development of non-income measures of material wellbeing and hardship; social indicators; social inclusion; and social security policy. His current research is focused on the further development of the Ministry’s Economic Living Standards Index (ELSI) and associated deprivation indices.
Presentation slides: Measuring Living Standards in New Zealand

Professor Veli-Matti Ritakallio
University of Turku, Finland
Professor Ritakallio is the Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy, University of Turku, Finland. His research interests are poverty (concept, measurement issues, trends and cross-national comparisons); income redistribution; income transfers (effects and efficiency); welfare state models; cross-national comparisons; accumulation of welfare deprivation; well-being; social exclusion; social assistance; social work; marginalisation; methodology of empirical social research; work incentives; Luxembourg Income Study (LIS); and the European Community Household Panel Survey (ECHP). He has a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Turku. He is a Licentiate in Social Sciences (Social policy), University of Turku. His Masters was in Social Sciences (Social policy, sociology and statistics) at the University of Turku.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Finland

Pedro Sáinz 
Secretary for the UN Expert Group on Poverty Statistics, Rio Group, Brazil
Consultant, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Chile
Pedro Sáinz was the Director of the Economic Projection Center and of the Statistical Division of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America from 1984 to 2000. Since he retired from ECLAC in 2000, he has acted as a consultant to international organisations and Latin American countries on topics related to poverty and public information. Recently he has given advice to the Brazilian institutions in the preparation of an official poverty measurement (2007–2008) and to the MERCOSUR countries in the harmonisation process for poverty measurement (2008–2009). He was also one of the three experts called on by the Colombian Government to evaluate the quality and usefulness of the 2005 population census (2007–2008). At present he is the international member of the Management Committee of the IDB–Venezuelan Government Project for the strengthening of the public information system. He acted as technical Secretary of the UN Río group of experts in poverty statistics that prepared the ‘Compendium of best practices in poverty measurement’. During the last few years he has written articles and books relating to the economic and social transformation of Latin American. He is one of the authors of the ECLAC book A Decade of Social Development (ECLAC, 2004), Equity in Latin America since the 1990s, DESA Working Paper No. 22 ST/ESA/2006/DWP/22 June 2006, The Chilean Experience with Mining Foreign Direct Investment 1985–2005, March 2007, report prepared for UNCTAD, and Relative Prices in Latin America in Periods of Low Inflation and Structural Changes, Pedro Sáinz and Sandra Manuelito, ECLAC Review 89, August 2006.
Presentation slides: Poverty Measurement in Latin America

Melissa Wong
University of New South Wales, Australia
Melissa Wong is a Research Associate at the Social Policy Research Centre. Her research projects include deprivation and social exclusion among welfare agency clients; objective and subjective indicators of living standards among older Australians; comparing the living standards of children and older people within and between nations; and social disadvantage and economic recession: promoting inclusion and combating deprivation. Her further interests include trade–poverty linkages; interactions between growth and international trade and the effects of trade on human capital accumulation and economic policies; and the application of social policies in developing economies.
Presentation slides: Measurement and Change in Deprivation and Exclusion in Australia 

This conference was funded by the ESRC as part of a Large Grant on Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK.

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