Sustainable Poverty Escapes: Spotlight on Multidimensional Poverty

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Poverty is typically measured in monetary terms, with the poor in a given country identified as those whose per capita income or expenditures fall below a certain threshold. However, it is increasingly recognised that this monetary conception of poverty does not adequately capture the varied facets of deprivation amongst the poor. Indeed, nutrition, child mortality, access to school, improved sanitation, access to water and electricity and so on, are not monetary concepts and yet are key determinants of poverty levels. 

Multidimensional measures of poverty are meant to complement monetary measures, and so provide a more holistic understanding of what it means to live in poverty. A multidimensional perspective on poverty can also provide useful insights into the variety of resilience capacities that households and communities need to respond to shocks and stressors and to sustain positive poverty reduction trajectories over time. 

This report focuses on multidimensional poverty, as measured by household deprivations in health, education, and living standards, using panel datasets for Uganda, rural Ethiopia, and rural Bangladesh. The aim of this study is to understand why some households are able to escape poverty and remain out of it— that is, they experience sustained escapes from poverty—while others escape poverty only to return to living in it again, and yet others remain trapped in chronic poverty. In particular, the report investigates the contextual drivers of households that build their resilience capacities, enabling them to escape multidimensional poverty sustainably and minimize the likelihood of remaining in poverty, returning to living in poverty after an escape, or becoming impoverished. 

Click here to download the report

Related contents : Country specific studies

This study is part of the project undertaken by CPAN in partnership with ACDI/VOCA and funded by USAID. Visit the project page Investigating the dynamics and drivers of transitory poverty escapes.