World Bank Commission Makes 21 Recommendations to Improve Poverty Measurement
Photo by IISD/ENB
story highlights

The World Bank’s Commission on Global Poverty report, 'Monitoring Global Poverty,' contains 21 recommendations to improve global poverty measurement and monitoring.

It recommends that the World Bank hold the yardstick for measuring extreme poverty constant, at $1.90 a day in 2011 purchasing power parity (PPPs), until 2030.

The World Bank plans to adopt 11 of the 21 recommendations in the near-term.

18 October 2016: The World Bank’s Commission on Global Poverty advanced recommendations on how to comprehensively measure and monitor global poverty. The Commission recommended that the World Bank hold the yardstick for measuring extreme poverty constant, at $1.90 a day in 2011 purchasing power parity (PPPs), until 2030, the target year for both the Bank’s goal of ending poverty and for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Commission also urged the Bank to establish its own requirements with regard to the measurement of non-monetary poverty, and to introduce a “multi-dimensioned poverty indicator based on the counting approach, and covering the overlap of dimensions.”

In response, Paul Romer, World Bank Chief Economist, noted that the Bank agrees with the Commission’s call for the extreme poverty line to be cited as “the International Poverty Line (IPL),” and expressed in each country in terms of its local currency. He also said the World Bank will track non-monetary poverty in three domains: educational outcomes; access to health care; and access to basic services, such as water, sanitation and electricity.

The World Bank will track non-monetary poverty in three domains: educational outcomes; access to health care; and access to basic services, such as water, sanitation and electricity.

The Commission’s report, titled ‘Monitoring Global Poverty,’ contains three chapters and an introduction. The first chapter, ‘Monitoring Extreme Poverty,’ contains 10 recommendations for improving the Bank’s measurement of extreme income (or consumption) poverty. Chapter two, ‘Beyond Goal [SDG] 1.1: Complementary Indicators and Multidimensionality,’ includes nine recommendations on broadening the concept of poverty. The third chapter, ‘Making it Happen,’ briefly summarizes the Commission’s advice on implementation through two final recommendations.

The report contains 21 recommendations in total, out of which the Bank announced it will adopt 11 in the short-run. These include, inter alia: publishing brief National Poverty Statistics Reports for each country; using the poverty gap indicator as a complement to the headcount measure; creating a (simple) global poverty profile, including the numbers of women, children and young adults living in poverty, as well as the number of female-headed households in poverty; and introducing a societal headcount measure of global poverty, which combines absolute and relative elements of poverty, and thus allows for poverty thresholds that are more generous, in monetary terms, in richer countries.

In its response to the Commission, the World Bank noted six recommendations that it accepts in principle, but for which implementation requires either additional resources that are not currently available or building broader partnerships beyond the Bank; and four recommendations that it does not plan to pursue.

The Commission on Global Poverty was created in 2015 and is comprised of 24 poverty experts led by Sir Anthony Atkinson, Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. [World Bank Press Release] [Monitoring Global Poverty] [World Bank Response to the Recommendations]

related posts