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Locally Adapted Poverty Indicators Derived from Participatory Wealth Rankings: A Case of Four Villages in Rural Tanzania

  • Bjorn F.H. Van Campenhout

Poverty indicators are generally identified on the basis of household consumption expenditure data drawn from nationally representative household budget surveys. In this study, we explore the potential role for more qualitative methods in generating poverty indicators and profiles that incorporate local perspectives on poverty. More specifically, on the basis of participatory wealth rankings, we identify covariates that could serve as poverty indicators. Furthermore, we check the performance of these indicators when using a more conventional indicator or well-being. To do so, we conducted participatory wealth rankings in four villages in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Then, we administered a small questionnaire-based survey to the ranked households to probe for possible poverty indicators that can broadly be classified under four categories, namely household characteristics, human capital, housing and durables, productive assets. We find that most of the routinely used poverty indicators remain valid, but for some, we also find interesting differences. Copyright 2007 The author 2006. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 406-438

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:16:y:2007:i:3:p:406-438
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