Individual Deprivation Measure

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An IDM study was completed in Nepal in 2016. Sumitra, 42, is not a direct participant in the study but like many other women and men, she is working to rebuild the town of Sakhu 18 months after the 2015 earthquake. Here, she is transporting locally-made bricks for a new public tap that will provide water for the village. Shelter and water are two of IDM’s 15 dimensions. Photo: Alice Floyd, Nepal, August 2016.

Knowing who is poor, in what way and to what extent

The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty. It has been developed to assess deprivation at the individual level and overcome the limitations of current approaches which measure poverty at the household level.
Watch the video here.

Media Release

Australia invests in closing gender data gaps in the Indo-Pacific region and globally

"Australia will invest $9.5 million over four years in a world-first gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty, the Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM), launched by Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon Julie Bishop MP on Wednesday 15th February. The initiative positions Australia at the frontier of poverty measurement. It is a partnership between The Australian National University (ANU), International Women’s Development Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade."

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From Left to Right – Joanne Crawford (IWDA), Joanna Hayter (IWDA CEO), Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Associate Professor Sharon Bessell (ANU) and Associate Professor Janet Hunt (ANU). Photos by Stuart Hay, ANU

What makes it different from current poverty measures?

  • Individual - By assessing poverty at the individual level, the IDM enables accurate disaggregation of data by sex, age, disability, ethnicity, religion, geographic location and more.

  • Gender Sensitive - The IDM can be sex-disaggregated across 15 dimensions of life relevant to poor women and men, generating a gender-sensitive measure.

  • Multidimensional - The IDM considers a wide range of factors as relevant to measuring poverty, assessing 15 key economic and social dimensions, including some especially important for revealing gender disparity (voice in the community, time-use, family planning and personal relationships).

  • Intersectional - Because the IDM collects data on 15 dimensions from each individual, it can reveal the impact of intersecting deprivations and inform targeting of deprivations impacting particular populations.

  • Scalar - The IDM uses a 1 to 5 scale providing insight into the intensity of an individual’s poverty. Knowing how poor individuals are, in what dimensions, matters for policy and programming, and assessing the effectiveness of action.

  • Cost and time efficient - The IDM is cost effective and practical. An individual survey takes approximately 60 minutes.

  • Policy relevant - The IDM can help governments and organisations target poverty more effectively. It can also help them measure success or failure, revealing what aspects of poverty are changing, by how much and for whom.

  • Grounded in participation - The IDM is the first poverty measure in the world based on the views of women and men with lived experience of poverty. The dimensions were selected based on what they prioritised as important to measure.

Our goal is that by 2020 the IDM is ready for global use as an individual measure of deprivation and a tool for tracking how development is changing the lives of the most deprived. The program is a partnership between The Australian National University, the International Women's Development Agency and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The IDM website is currently in development, with insightful data and analysis available from early 2017.
Until then, sign-up so we can let you know when the full website is ready.