In the words of the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress “GDP is an inadequate metric to gauge well-being ….. particularly in its economic, environmental and social dimensions". The Report calls for greater focus on broader measures of social progress. Amongst these, those of particular relevance to Sub-Saharan Africa (hereinafter Africa) are sustainability; employment; inequality, the quality of health and education and insecurity and resilience in both physical and economic terms. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 similarly focus on both growth and its quality in these broader terms.
In this research, the task force formulated between the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) at Columbia University and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will produce several academic papers on the quality of growth and the sustainable development goals in Africa. The tentative list of topics to be covered include placing inequality in Africa in the global context and the debate on rising inequality; the impact of global rules on inequality as well as other aspects of the quality of growth (e.g. of trade and investment agreements and taxation of multinational corporations); on measurement of wider social well-being than that captured in GDP; on employment; on monitoring and implementation of the SDGs; on environmental sustainability including financing of dealing with climate change.