HAVE SOME CLOTHES TO SHED
If governments and multilateral organisations censor critical data on development, imagine how banal is our measurement of progress and growth
Nthat can be counted counts,and not eveOT EVERYTHING rything that counts can be counted,said Albert Einstein. But counting does matter, as pointed out by Joseph Stiglitz,Amartya Sen and Jean-Paul Fitoussi in their report for the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress,“What we measure affects what we do and if our measurements are flawed,decisions may be distorted…if metrics of performance are flawed,so too may be inferences we draw.”
There is a new buzz in town after the United Nations Secretary General (unsg) called for a data revolution for sustainable development.This was in response to the growing angst about the diluted definition of data—where it has been restricted to numbers and the naive assumption that technology and private sector will provide the silver bullet solution to the data-deficit. Absence of accountability, the bedrock of public data for public action, is also another cause for concern.
An era of increasing censorship where disclosure policies and sunshine laws are rescinding is another worry and so is the watering down of whistle-blowers’ protection legislation, India being a case in point.What is even more discomforting is the inadequate atten-
SORIT / CSE