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How it works
“What Material is Your Roof Made of?” How We Measure Poverty and Change
Posted on: 18/02/2013
Microfinance is designed to improve the lives of very poor people. Yet how do you measure ‘poverty’ and the process of moving out of it?
This tool has enabled NGO’s to tangibly measure poverty and its alleviation over time. It statistically measures progress and can be easily customised to fit a particular country. It’s not limited to microfinance sector either but is used by health, labour and other poverty reduction organisations.
How it works
Essentially, our field partner representatives ask the borrower 10 simple questions that range from ‘what material is your roof made out of’ to ‘number of children in school’ and ‘access to drinking water.’ The questions can be quickly and easily answered by a member of the household in 5 to 10 minutes meaning that this tool does not take up too much of field partners’ valuable time but results in them being able to accurately measure an individual family’s situation. The questions are then asked again after a period of time.
There are currently PPI’s for 45 countries and all together Grameen Foundation offers poverty measurement tools for the countries that are home to 90% of the worlds people whose income falls under $1.25 a day (2005 PPI).
Once this data has been collected an organisation can then:
- Measure poverty outreach i.e. the amount of clients that live below the poverty line or are at risk of doing so
- Assess the effect of the organisation’s actions
- Track poverty levels over time
This data provides staff with the information they need to make informed strategic decisions and can provide supporters with evidence that the organization is reaching the poor and those at risk of poverty.
Deki began using PPI in 2012 with our Malawi field partner Temwa where we now record PPI data. Since that time, all of our field partners have started using PPI, enabling us to track our progress and report on the impacts of our work in the coming years.
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