Making PRSP Inclusive
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3.1.1 Poverty analysis

The aim of the poverty analysis is to provide the basis for the formulation of the PRSP document and the implementation of the programmes. If done well, it supplies crucial information on what causes poverty and what needs to be done in order to address the identified shortcomings. Once the poverty diagnostic has been completed, DPOs should ensure that the results already have an effect on the formulation of the PRSP and that, at a later stage, a link is made with the programmes identified in the PRSP.

The poverty analysis is essential for setting priorities and influencing policies. However, until now poverty analyses have often failed to consider people with disabilities and other marginalised groups. One reason is the lack of knowledge and reliable data. As the PRSP also offers the opportunity to request data, a DPO’s contribution at that stage includes improving the quality and the type of existing information by executing surveys and small-scale studies with quantitative as well as qualitative data on specific issues. The collection of qualitative data might permit a more comprehensive analysis, and is also necessary to understand the causes that lie behind the numbers. While a well-designed poverty analysis provides the basis for more objective decision-making, unreliable data carry a high risk of distorting reality. Therefore NGOs, DPOs and all stakeholders need to check and question all data that have been provided. The basis for all reliable and comparable data is a comprehensive definition of disability. All stakeholders must therefore reflect on a joint definition and reliable data collection methods (see Chapter 8, Lobby and advocacy).

Example: Honduras

The Honduran PRSP recognised the lack of reliable data on people with disabilities, and suggested integrating modules on people with disabilities into the national household survey as follows: “Incorporate a module within the surveys of the National Statistics Institute, on various aspects of disability in order to identify, among other things, the geographic location and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the population with disabilities.” (Gov. of Honduras, 2001, p. 89). On the basis of this statement in the PRSP, Handicap International was able to remind the National Statistics Institute to include a section on disability in the multipurpose household survey and to develop a methodology for data collection together with Honduran DPOs.

Participatory Poverty Analysis (PPA)

A specialised method – participatory poverty analysis (PPA) – was developed in the 1990s and first used mainly in rural areas. The definition of poverty in PPA includes a monetary dimension (consumption and income), but it also considers vulnerability, physical and social isolation, insecurity, lack of self-respect, lack of access to information, and powerlessness. The advantages of a PPA are that it takes less time to complete and is cheaper than a conventional household survey. The methodology used involves direct contacts with people living in poverty, because they are considered to be the ones that know best what poverty means in practice. Researchers discuss with them their situation, using methods that are adjusted according to the specific objective of the poverty research. In contrast to a traditional analysis, a PPA does not use standardised methods such as pre-formulated questionnaires; instead, the methodology is tailored to the research situation. An additional aim is also to enable the people concerned to exercise greater control over the whole research process.

Example: PPA with disability focus in Tanzania

In Tanzania DPOs were involved in the participatory poverty analysis. Two of them, the Information Centre on Disability (ICD) and Shivyawata (an umbrella organisation comprising six DPOs) received funds to conduct a poverty analysis. ICD contacted 80 people with disabilities from different socio-economic backgrounds in four Tanzanian regions and interviewed them about their poverty situation, while Shivyawata conducted a larger analysis in 21 regions. The results of this survey proved that people with disabilities are among the poorest of the poor, and that the causes of poverty are not one-dimensional but rather multidimensional.

More information

Norton, Andy (2001): A Rough Guide to PPAs – Participatory Poverty Assessment: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. 
Robb, Caroline M. (2000): How the Poor Can Have a Voice in Government Policy.(IMF publications)
The World Bank Poverty Net with Voices of the Poor 
Government of Honduras (2002): Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2001-2015. Tegucigalpa.
Info Sheet: PPA. This PDF document provides addational information on PPA methods

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