Defining and measuring poverty

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This presentation is part of a lesson on measuring disparities in wealth and development found at the following link : http://mcleankids.wetpaint.com/page/Measurements+of+Regional+and+Global+Disparities

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Defining and measuring poverty

  1. 1. Defining and Measuring Poverty • Absolute Poverty • Relative Poverty • Human Poverty Index • Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index
  2. 2. Defining Poverty“Fundamentally, poverty is a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation ofhuman dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively insociety. It means not having enough to feed and cloth a family, not having aschool or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or ajob to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity,powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. Itmeans susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living on marginal or fragileenvironments, without access to clean water or sanitation”(UN Statement, June 1998 – signed by the heads of all UN agencies)
  3. 3. Have a think about that definition:Q1. Which countries in the world have no povertywhatsoever by this definition?
  4. 4. We need to considerDeveloped world poverty Developing world poverty
  5. 5. Two ways to think about povertyAbsolute Poverty Relative PovertyAbsolute poverty refers to a set Relative poverty views poverty asstandard which is consistent over socially defined and dependenttime and between countries. on social context, hence relative poverty is a measure of income inequality. Usually, relative poverty is measured as the percentage of population with income less than some fixed proportion of median income.
  6. 6. Poverty is…….A very complicatedphenomenon that is inherentlyproblematic to measure
  7. 7. Defining Absolute PovertyAbsolute poverty was defined as"a condition characterized by severe deprivationof basic human needs, including food, safedrinking water, sanitation facilities, health,shelter, education and information. It depends notonly on income but also on access to services." World Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995,
  8. 8. Measuring Absolute/Relative? PovertyHuman Poverty Index 1 (HPI-1) Human Poverty Index 2 (HPI-2)(Developing Countries) Selected OECD Countries• Probability at birth of not • Probability at birth of not surviving to age 60 (times 100) surviving to age 40 (times 100) • Adults lacking functional• Adult illiteracy rate literacy skills• Average of population without • Population below income sustainable access to an poverty line (50% of median adjusted household disposable improved water source and income) children under weight for age • Rate of long-term unemployment (lasting 12 months or more)
  9. 9. And so………‘The UN is attempting to create absolute measures of poverty in the developed world contextand in the developing world context.’This is, of course, relativism but it does set out absolute measures that can be used for a basisof comparison.
  10. 10. HPI-2 UKThe HPI-2 ranks 22 OECD (high levels of development )countries
  11. 11. HPI-2 South KoreaQ2. Is there no poverty in South Korea or no data?Q3. If either question is true how can we explain this?
  12. 12. HPI-1 China, DRC and South AfricaQ4. Input this data into Excel and create an appropriate chart to display itChinaDRCSouthAfrica
  13. 13. The HPI was dropped by the UN as a measure of poverty in 2010Q5. What reasons do you think the UN had for dropping the HPI?Q6. How would you replace the HPI?
  14. 14. The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI)
  15. 15. The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI)Q6. In what ways do you think this measure is:a) Better than the HPI?b) Worse than the HPI?
  16. 16. The Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI)Q7. Present this data in a more meaningful way and then describe what it shows.
  17. 17. Summary• Marginalization is the process of being relegated to an unimportant or powerless position within society or a group.• This is effectively relegating them to the periphery of society• People in poverty are marginalized• Poverty is hard to define and even harder to measure• Nations are probably less inclined to measure poverty than development• Every country in the world has people in poverty.• At every scale societies are becoming less equal even though absolute poverty is decreasing

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