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Timeline: 2012-13

In country Partners: Pulse Asia

Data collected: 1806 individuals and 750 households interviewed

Image of a market scene in Manila. The street is full of people on foot buying from individual stalls under umbrellas.
1806 individuals from 750 households were interviewed in the Philippines. Photo: Holgs/iStock

A proof-of-concept pilot of the IDM was conducted in the Philippines, in which a total of 1806 participants across 750 households were interviewed.

The sampling strategy was to divide by sub-regions and then sample within those pre-selected regions, and to interview every adult in the household. This sampling approach enabled the IDM to investigate the distribution of poverty among adult members within the household.

The IDM Philippines study captured a degree of within household variation in IDM dimensions, providing initial evidence that household-level measurement is insufficient for accurately assessing individual-level poverty.

The proposed IDM thresholds (‘extremely deprived’, ‘very deprived’, ‘deprived’, ‘somewhat deprived’ and ‘not deprived’) appeared to provide a useful guide for policy and programming to address poverty, identifying a small group who are the ‘poorest of the poor’ and a larger group who are very poor.

Analysis and re-analysis of the trial data identified a range of issues requiring further investigation, including the weighting of indicators and dimensions, interpretation of scores, cut-offs and thresholds for identifying deprivation, and how to maximise the gender-sensitivity of the measure.

Recognising these limitations, the pilot in the Philippines nonetheless confirmed the feasibility of assessing multi-dimensional poverty in a way that can reveal differences between women and men and among other groups, where these exist, including within the household.

The report Individual Deprivation Measure – a gender sensitive approach to poverty measurement reports on the Philippines survey. Work undertaken as part of the current phase of IDM development has identified some technical shortcomings in the earlier scoring approach and construction of overall IDM scores for the Philippines, which is detailed in the IDM Research Report (2014).