David Cameron is at the UN today arguing that they should focus on measureable outcomes.  The quote from Downing Street is: – “The prime minister wants to keep the focus on measurable concrete actions that would help you to alleviate poverty and keep the focus on being something people could judge whether or not we are delivering.”

Yesterday we had the debate about testing pregnant mothers for smoking at their first prenatal visit by measuring the levels of carbon monoxide in their bloodstream. The arguments for such at test are that it allows an honest discussion about how much a mother smokes and the benefits of this being reduced. The counter argument is that this is an invasion of privacy and we can have a grown up discussion without such a test.

So measurement certainly gives clarity to a situation and can hold people to account. Is this what we should be doing or is this giving measurement a bad name?

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