2012 Training Course - Poverty Measurement and Analysis

Event Date: 
24 Apr, 2012 - 27 Apr, 2012 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Dakar, Senegal  


The objective of this training course was to introduce participants to the tools and methods for the analysis of poverty using household survey data. Particular emphasis was given to poverty dynamics and intertemporal aspects of poverty measurement and modeling. Hands-on applications using the Stata software were conducted to facilitate later use of the tools presented in the course. References were provided to participants, drawing on seminal and recent works on poverty measurement and analysis.

By the end of the course, participants learned how to:

  • measure and interpret static poverty measures using household survey data;
  • measure and model poverty dynamics using longitudinal survey data;
  • distinguish poverty from vulnerability;
  • measure pro-poor growth;
  • understand the basics of poverty monitoring and impact evaluation.


  • Dr. Philippe van Kerm: currently invited lecturer at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. He is research economist at the 'Centre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques/International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development' (CEPS/INSTEAD) in Luxembourg. His research interests are in applied micro-econometrics, labour and welfare economics and statistical computing, with particular reference to inequality, poverty, income mobility and income distribution dynamics. 
  • Dr. Anne-Claire Thomas: currently teaching assistant at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. She earned her doctorate degree at the Agricultural Economics Research Unit of the Earth and Life Institute of UCL. Her work is mostly applied and covers poverty, risk and insurance issues in rural areas of developing countries.


The course level was appropriate for participants with background in economics, statistics, mathematics, and/or public policy. A strong background in quantitative analysis was required. Basic knowledge of the Stata statistical software was desirable.

General organization of the course

A mix of theory and practical hands-on using Stata was provided for each session.


Session 1:  Review of the basics of poverty measurement

1.      Introduction: What is poverty? Why measuring poverty?
2.      Defining a measure of welfare
3.      Setting the poverty line
4.      Aggregating individual information: FGT index, Sen Index, Watts index

Session 2: Poverty dynamics

1.      Introduction: How to describe poverty dynamics

a.       Trigger Events
b.      Chronic and Transient Poverty
c.       Measures of persistent poverty

2.      Data Issues: repeated cross-section, panel data.
3.      Modeling poverty dynamics: transition and duration models, variance components models
4.      Indicators of inter-temporal Poverty

Session 3: Vulnerability to poverty

1.      Definition and sources of vulnerability
2.      Measurement Issues

Session 4: Non-Monetary dimensions of poverty

1.      Multidimensional aspects of poverty
2.      Measurement Issues

Session 5: Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation

       1.      Introduction: monitoring versus impact evaluation
       2.      The different steps of an impact evaluation
       3.      The challenge of the counterfactual

Session 6: Pro-Poor Growth

1.      Definition
2.      Measures
3.      The repeated cross-section approach
4.      The panel data approach


             The training materials are available only for AGRODEP members.