How does the PPI work?

A business or organization must use the PPI scorecard that has been developed for the country in which they operate;  PPIs have been developed for dozens of countries. There are two steps to using the PPI to determine a person’s level of poverty.

  • The survey and score: The PPI survey contains 10 verifiable questions that a field agent can ask their clients in 5 to 10 minutes. The questions are simple – “What material is your roof made out of? How many of your children are in school?” The survey respondent chooses an answer from multiple choices. It is important that the PPI administrator ask and interpret the survey questions consistently across all clients and as directed by the PPI guidelines in order to maintain accuracy. For many PPIs, there is a corresponding document that provides guidance on how to interpret a question in complicated situations.  Each answer is given a value, and the total value of all the answers is the survey respondent’s PPI score.
  • Poverty likelihood look-up table: The PPI administrator uses the PPI look-up table to convert the PPI score to a likelihood that the respondent’s household is living below a poverty line. The look-up table allows the PPI administrator to determine the household’s likelihood of living below multiple national and international poverty lines.