Last week I was involved in some discussions about post 2015 MDGs. In some meetings I was told that all indicators chosen must be measurable and must actually already be reliably measured. A sensible criteria, one might think.
But also one that is delusional or just plain deceptive. For people who have never visited the statistical offices in many developing countries it might sound plausible that reliable measures exist for things like GDP and infant mortality and access to schooling. And this belief gives a sense of legitimacy to the MDGs we have now.
But people who have visited statistical bureaus in many developing countries will tell you that the measures of these and many other concepts are fraught with problems. And should not be trusted in many cases.
Read Morten Jerven's poor numbers if you want a taste of this reality.
I wonder why we insist on pretending the measures and goals we use in MDGs pass the smell test, when in most cases they don't? Is it delusion or deception at work in the international community?