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Poverty Assessment Tools - An Overview of the PPI and USAID PAT

Progress out of Poverty Index™ USAID

(PPI™)Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT)
Short survey of 10-33 questions to
Short survey of 10 questions that assess assess poverty at household level.
What Is it?
poverty likelihood at a household level. Questions may cover education, health,
housing, and assets.
Both tools: 1) assess absolute poverty at the household level; 2) are created using
national level household survey data; 3) have known levels of accuracy; 4) are
How are the PPI and PAT similar?
relatively simple to administer; 5) are calibrated to international and/or national
poverty lines, allowing for industry-wide comparisons; and 6) are accompanied by
a manual and training materials to guide users.
May be used at any number of times,
depending on the use the MFI will put the
Can be used at any time, but after loan
information to. For example, it can be
approval or acceptance into program is
used during new-member screening or
When is it used? highly encouraged to minimize bias. Can
loan application. May also be
be used as a one-time assessment or as
administered periodically, annually, or at
part of ongoing monitoring.
client exit. Appropriate for targeting,
assessment, or monitoring.
PATs have been developed and certified
for 25 countries: Albania, Azerbaijan,
Fourteen PPIs are developed for
Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Bangladesh, Bolivia, Haiti, India,
Cambodia, Colombia, East Timor,
Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco,
Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India,
Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, the Philippines,
Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kosovo,
and Vietnam. Grameen Foundation and
What countries it is available for? Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Peru, the
the Ford Foundation are currently
Philippines, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uganda,
developing additional PPIs, and expect
and Vietnam. The IRIS Center expects to
that a total of 38 PPIs will be in use by
have a total of 31 PATs available by the
the end of 2009. For updates visit
end of 2009. For updates visit
Administered by loan officers. Possible
responses for each indicator have
assigned point values. Total points can
be summed in field by loan officer and
poverty likelihood immediately
estimated. Can enter overall score or Implemented by field staff or external
overall score plus individual indicator team. Data entered into customized data
score into MIS. A sampling methodology entry template for each tool. After
is introduced to MFIs during the pilot simple data-cleaning steps, software
How is it implemented? process. The pilot objectives set by the automatically calculates the prevalence
organization will determine the sample of extreme poverty. Can be applied to all
used. The pilot is different from a full- clients or a sample of current, new or
scale implementation, because it is set incoming clients. Sample size depends
up to test a specific aspect of the use of on level of confidence desired.
the PPI before fully implementing the PPI
across all operations, which can imply
using the PPI on a sample or census
basis, depending on the information
needs of the MFI.
Automatic calculation of prevalence of
Poverty likelihood (probability of being
poverty and extreme poverty. Multiple
very poor or poor) for individual clients,
poverty indicators related to education,
What type of information groups of clients, or clients as a whole.
housing, and assets can be analyzed to
does it provide? Multiple indicators related to client
learn more about clients. Database can
economic well-being, each statistically
be exported for further analysis using
linked to poverty in the country.
other software.
Yes, the PPI takes 5 minutes on average
to conduct. That includes conducting the
interview, tallying the score, and The PAT could be adapted for targeting,
determining the client’s target status, as but is designed to automatically
Can it be used for targeting?
set by the MFI. This enables quick and calculate poverty at the aggregate/group
easy targeting, as points can be level.
computed immediately in the field with
only paper and pencil.
Varies depending upon sample size or
Low to moderate cost. Varies depending
census methodology, logistical costs,
What are the costs? upon sampling frame, logistical costs,
management and reporting uses and MIS
and the use of internal or external team.
issues (if necessary).
Time required? About 3-8 minutes per client About 10-20 minutes per client.
Basic interview techniques, computation, Basic interview techniques, sampling,
What are the skills required?
data entry, and data managmement. and data processing.
Field staff administers survey, key punch
operator enters information into Field staff or external team, including 2-5
Who is involved? database, lower-level technical staff interviewers, field supervisor, data entry
analyzes data, management reviews operators, and HQ coordinator(s).
Internal use primarily but also of interest Internal management; meeting USAID
Who will use it? to external stakeholders interested in reporting requirements; other
poverty profile and impact of MFI. stakeholders interested in client profile.
Requires automated MIS or other EPI Info software (freeware) and a
System infrastructure required?database system (e.g., Excel, Access, computer with windows 98 or later. No
SPSS, etc.). other software is required.
The PPI™ allows MFIs to divide their
The latest PATs calculate the prevalence
clients into distinct poverty bands (above
of both poverty and extreme poverty,
and below different poverty lines). Using
allowing an organization to classify its
the PPI an organization can track poverty
outreach to the non-poor, poor, and very
levels of clients, see how those levels
How can we use these tools poor. The PAT can be used multiple
change over time and analyze the
to analyze change in client times to analyze change in poverty
correlations between poverty likelihoods
status? status among these categories.
and other variables. This information can
However, it is important not to equate
be used to target clients, track their
change with impact, as the latter
poverty movement and develop products
requires detailed study to ensure
and services to meet their needs better.
credible results.
Indicators statistically linked to poverty.
Provides accurate and credible estimate Uses multiple statistical methods to
of poverty outreach and poverty trends select indicators and calibrate poverty
among clients. Allows immediate predictions. Relatively low cost and
estimate of client poverty likelihood. practical to implement. Automated steps
What are its key features?
Relatively easy and inexpensive to for data processing and poverty
administer and flexible in terms of when calculation to reduce errors. Latest tools
it can be administered. Poverty include both extreme poverty and
scorecards calibrated to multiple poverty lines.
extreme poverty and poverty lines.
Tool creation requires appropriate
national household survey data set, and
Requires appropriate national-level advanced statistical skills. Need
household survey data set to derive sufficient training and supervision to
What are its issues? poverty indicators. Process to derive minimize bias during implementation.
build PPIs is complex and requires high Household roster on most PATs takes a
technical aptitude in data analysis. bit more time than shorter tools, but
provides additional, useful info about the
Please go to household for additional analysis.
Please go to or or email Brian Beard at the IRIS Center at
email the Grameen Foundation Social
Access Tools and Support Materials? or Anthony
Performance Management Center at Leegwater at
t Tool (PAT)