Fiji

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Timeline: 2015 – 2017

In country Partners: Fiji Bureau of Statistics

Data collected: 1125 household; 2967 individuals across poverty hotspots in Fiji

Link to report: Fiji Report 

2,967 individuals across Fiji were interviewed. Photo: Donna Yeatman/IWDA

In 2014, the Australian Government funded the first IDM study beyond an initial proof of concept trial in the Philippines, to explore what additional insights could be gained by individual-level, gender-sensitive poverty measurement. This work was undertaken by the IWDA, working with the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS).

The IDM Fiji study sample was designed by FBoS to build on existing evidence by focusing on poverty ‘hotspots’ identified through the World Bank’s poverty mapping study in Fiji (2011).

Findings of the IDM Fiji project revealed how members of the same household can have different profiles of deprivation across the 15 IDM dimensions, and that these can be gendered. Individual case studies were used to illustrated the depth of information available when the same individual is assessed across multiple dimensions.

 

Women spent more time than men using unclean cooking and heating fuel, placing them at greater risk of related health problems.

We found that socio-cultural background was an important predictor of deprivation, with Fijians of Indian descent more deprived across a range of dimensions. Particularly gender-sensitive variables included exposure to smoke from cooking fuel, and voice in the community, in which women were particularly deprived.

Men were exposed to more physical risk from their work, and men in rural areas struggled with adequate protective clothing. The IDM Fiji results were validated through engagement with local development practitioners, gender specialists, and policymakers through a stakeholder workshop and a panel discussion.

In sum, the IDM Fiji study highlighted what matters for poverty measurement:

  • gender sensitivity
  • measurement within the household
  • inequality
  • multidimensionality
  • intersectionality
  • social deprivation
  • the ability to decompose dimensions to explore indicators and identify the main influences on dimension results.
Results from the IDM Fiji study show clear differences between rural, urban and informal settlements.

The data provided new information about the nature and extent of deprivation in areas with a high concentration of poverty – who is poor, in what ways, to what extent – and about the geography of multidimensional poverty.

The results show clear differences between rural, urban and informal settlements, including by sex and age. The IDM Fiji data provide insights into how disadvantage in different areas of life combine to deepen deprivation for particular populations. The IDM Fiji study also identified areas requiring further technical and methodological refinement, in relation to sampling, survey questions, analysis, and presentation of data.

The IDM Fiji report, Exploring multidimensional poverty in Fiji – Findings from a study using the individual deprivation measure, is available here.  Note that dimension scores and construction of the overall IDM scores for the Fiji data are pending, awaiting finalisation of the method to be used going forward.

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