This article discusses a participatory approach to measuring poverty for assessment of poverty-targeting interventions. This method was developed from work carried out in Malawi during evaluations of the Targeted Inputs Programme (TIP). The article presents what has been done so far with the participatory approach and discusses the challenges that lie ahead. The approach involves absolute as well as relative measurements of poverty and a technique called community mapping with cards. The article concludes with a consideration of ethical and future challenges, including ways of involving participants in the analysis of the numerical data generated in their villages and persuading policy makers of the usefulness of the approach.
International Institute for Environment and Development