Measure Poverty, Do Better: How objective, household poverty data can drive better strategies for development practitioners >

Julie Peachey

Originally posted on the Practitioner's Hub.

Hundreds of nonprofit organizations, busineses, and investors around the world are concerned with reducing global poverty. Every day, the leaders that run these programs must make decisions that influence their program’s strategy, outcomes, and impact. To make the best decisions possible, these leaders need the right information. One key piece of information: beneficiary poverty data.

Objectively measuring poverty among beneficiary households can help development practitioners balance financial and social goals, design products and services that are best suited to the needs of the poor, and evaluate their program’s success. This information opens the door to a whole new array of insights, especially when combined with other important indicators such as gender, location, occupation, education, and so on.

Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®) is a simple poverty measurement scorecard that is rising in popularity among development practitioners, social businesses, and other entities that work with the poor. It was designed to be easier to use than other poverty assessment methods, but just as helpful:

  • „The PPI contains only ten questions, and the survey can usually be administered in less than five minutes.
  • „The questions are about the household’s assets and basic characteristics, so they are straight-forward and easy to verify.
  • „The PPI survey can be included with existing paperwork or embedded in a larger survey.
  • „The PPI measures poverty relative to widely-recognized poverty lines.
  • „The PPI is available in more than 50 countries; nine of every ten people living on less than $1.25 a day live in a country with a PPI scorecard.
  • Since the PPI was developed in 2005, hundreds of organizations have used the tool in their programs. This year, Grameen Foundation published a report on how the PPI is being used around the world today. It is clear that poverty measurement is a useful pursuit for many types of organizations.
Read the rest of Julie's article on the Practitioner's Hub >>


Julie Peachey is the Director of Grameen Foundation's Social Performance Management Center.