OUR FOCUS

Inclusive Growth

Poverty Measurements

One of the most important development trends in the past decades is arguably the large reduction in poverty. However, people vulnerable to social, economic and environmental shocks continue to be pushed back into poverty, especially in times of pandemic.

Persistent levels of poverty and inequality, and newly emerging pockets of poverty pose a challenge to growth, human development, the fulfillment of human rights, social cohesion, peace and security, and sustainable development both within and between countries. Gender, age, ethnicity, race, disability and circumstances of birth compound discrimination and increase poverty and inequality.

Great strides have been made towards further consolidating methodologies, approaches and measurements that incorporate lived experiences and understanding of nature, roots and dynamics of contemporary poverty. Efforts in ensuring rigorous disaggregation of poverty measures provide a particular value-added to tacking these phenomena.

Women banding together to create a cooperative that creates national dresses, providing income for young girls and official jobs.


UNDP pursues an integrated approach and measurements that tackle the connected issues of multidimensional poverty, inequality, exclusion, and sustainability, and supports countries in the region with:

  • Promoting innovative human development measurements to push the boundaries of well-being beyond measures of income to reflect people’s ability to live the lives they value. We support preparation of national human development reporting and measuring inequality-adjusted HDI, Gender inequality index and other HD- family measurements at national and sub-national levels;

  • Working with governments and statistical agencies to nationalize multidimensional poverty measures to ensure countries have the capacities to set their unique national and local multidimensional poverty indices. There is a need to advance the understanding of multidimensional poverty and exclusion to tackle it effectively;

  • Performing socio-economic impact and vulnerability assessments as well as policy-oriented analysis of the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, leading to forward-looking action at the regional, and (sub) national levels;
  • Supporting countries in delivering on their commitment to leaving no one behind and develop comprehensive LNOB roadmaps to address poverty, inequality, and discrimination, with specific interventions related to disaggregation of indicators to measure progress;

  • Initiating regional and supporting design of national research on poverty, that goes beyond quantitative measures and includes big and thick data collection and analysis as well as qualitative methods such as micronarratives;

  • Supporting countries in delivering on their commitment on Agenda 2030 and nationalization of SDG indicators, especially to measure poverty  (SDG 1) and inequality (SDG 5 and 10), including through integration of latest metrics, methodological approaches and SDG interlinkage analytics into strategic national development planning and budgeting;

  • Participating in and contributing to thematic taskforces and regional platforms of stakeholder engagement to address innovative approaches to measure poverty, vulnerability and inequality, such as UNECE, UNESCAP, UNDESA, OPHI, IFIs, Global Poverty Networks and Community of Practices.

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