No Country Left Behind : The Case for Focusing Greater Attention on the World's Poorest Countries

In the global pursuit of poverty reduction, a minority of countries risks being left behind, both in terms of their levels of deprivation and in the way global progress is accounted for. This suggests that the “leave no-one behind” principle, originally intended to draw attention to marginalized groups such as lower castes or the disabled, might equally be applied to countries. In a preliminary analysis, this paper undertakes to identify which countries are at greatest risk of being left behind, and their common characteristics. It calls for new efforts to ensure these countries are not ignored and calls for further policy research that might ultimately help raise their performance.