Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Annals of Misleading Statistics: Literacy 83

Amen David McKenzie. In the field of International Development the availability of good data is frustratingly awful, which makes it difficult to identify let alone pursue good policy. There is no need to compound this problem by misrepresenting and oversimplifying what limited data we have. I applaud any attempt to communicate the real problems that exist in the world, and increasing awareness, but the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle is often not the best way forward if we are concerned about real long term changes. Instead building capacity to understand and interpret more complex situations and numbers should be the goal, and refrain from “Fox-Newsifying” everything in the attempt to quickly reach people and avoid having to do the hard and long work of educating people on the issues.

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