Eradicating global poverty: a noble goal, but how do we measure it?
⋅ June 25, 2013
Following Emma Samman’s (ODI) recent blogpost on how to measure poverty, you can now read her full paper: Eradicating global poverty: a noble goal, but how do we measure it?, a summary of which is below:
“This working paper presents a series of proposals on how to measure poverty in a post-2015 agreement. Their contributions show some consensus, but also several areas of contention. There are arguments that poverty is relative as well as absolute, and over whether the apt reference point is the society in which a person lives or global too. Some advocate higher international income poverty lines, arguing that they hold meaning in both rich and poor countries. Others claim that purchasing power parity adjustments may not reflect the incomes of the poor well and that internationally coordinated national poverty measurement would offer a better solution. Others still take issue with an exclusively income-based poverty metric, arguing that poverty should also be measured in a multidimensional fashion. And it is reasoned that measures ought to be disaggregated among groups of the poor in the view that not all experience poverty equally.
- All agree that eradicating absolute poverty should remain at the forefront of a new goal on poverty, but opinions differ as to what constitutes extreme poverty and how we should measure it.
- Proposals to broaden the definition of poverty include incorporating relative poverty, a poverty line high enough to reflect poverty in rich countries too, and a measure of multidimensional deprivation.
- Disagreement exists over whether ‘international dollars’ are the best way to measure poverty, with a proposal for efforts toward internationally consistent national poverty measurement.”
Read the full paper here.