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Water and poverty in rural China: Developing an instrument to assess the multiple dimensions of water and poverty

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  • Cohen, Alasdair
  • Sullivan, Caroline A.
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    Abstract

    This paper describes the theoretical foundations and development of a multidimensional, water-focused, thematic indicator of rural poverty: The Water, Economy, Investment and Learning Assessment Indicator (WEILAI). The WEILAI approach was specifically designed for application in rural China, to support poverty alleviation project planning, monitoring and evaluation, as well as targeting and prioritization. WEILAI builds primarily on the basic needs framework of poverty alleviation, and on the methodological structure of the Water Poverty Index, to provide a proxy measure of an area's poverty by assessing eight key poverty sectors, with a strong focus on the components of water-poverty. The WEILAI approach was piloted and implemented in 534 households in China's mountainous southwest. This paper describes the indicator construction, weighting schemes, methodology, field sites, and statistical validation of the results. In addition, we discuss the results, feedback from in-country project staff, and the likely utility of the tool for project planning, monitoring and evaluation support. The paper concludes with a discussion of WEILAI's overall utility and ongoing development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 999-1009

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:5:p:999-1009

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    Keywords: Asia China Indicators Rural poverty Water Assessment;

    References

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    1. Fu, Xiaolan, 2004. "Limited linkages from growth engines and regional disparities in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 148-164, March.
    2. Hicks, Norman & Streeten, Paul, 1979. "Indicators of development: The search for a basic needs yardstick," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 567-580, June.
    3. M. Saisana & A. Saltelli & S. Tarantola, 2005. "Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques as tools for the quality assessment of composite indicators," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(2), pages 307-323.
    4. Fan, Shenggen & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2002. "Growth, inequality, and poverty in rural China: the role of public investments," Research reports 125, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Bourguignon, F. & Chakravarty, S.R., 1998. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty," DELTA Working Papers 98-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    6. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2007. "China's (uneven) progress against poverty," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-42, January.
    7. Sullivan, Caroline, 2002. "Calculating a Water Poverty Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1195-1210, July.
    8. Hanjra, Munir A. & Ferede, Tadele & Gutta, Debel Gemechu, 2009. "Reducing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa through investments in water and other priorities," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(7), pages 1062-1070, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Yifan Ding & Deshan Tang & Huichao Dai & Yuhang Wei, 2014. "Human-Water Harmony Index: A New Approach to Assess the Human Water Relationship," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 1061-1077, March.
    2. Julie Wilk & Anna Jonsson, 2013. "From Water Poverty to Water Prosperity—A More Participatory Approach to Studying Local Water Resources Management," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 695-713, February.
    3. Ryan Plummer & Rob Loë & Derek Armitage, 2012. "A Systematic Review of Water Vulnerability Assessment Tools," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 26(15), pages 4327-4346, December.
    4. Ricard Giné Garriga & Agustí Pérez Foguet, 2013. "Unravelling the Linkages Between Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Rural Poverty: The WASH Poverty Index," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 27(5), pages 1501-1515, March.

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