The Individual Deprivation Measure: A Gender-Sensitive Approach to Poverty Measurement

To develop a new, gender-sensitive measure of multidimensional poverty, the International Woman’s Development Agency Inc. undertook participatory research in Angola, Fiji, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Philippines. Local research teams worked with men and women in poor communities to understand how they viewed poverty and related hardships, to what extent they saw these as gendered, and how they thought deprivation could best be measured.

After two phases of participatory research, the International Woman’s Development Agency Inc. developed the Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM). The IDM improves upon existing measures of poverty and gender equity in several ways. It measures deprivation at the individual rather than household level, allowing for the investigation of the distribution of deprivation within the household and the construction of gender equity indices based on individual achievement. It is justified through a process of public reason, and takes account of previously excluded dimensions of deprivation, especially those important for revealing gender disparity. It uses interval rather than binary scoring, to allow for evaluating the different degrees of deprivation below a minimally acceptable threshold. Furthermore, the survey used to calculate the IDM is extremely easy to administer and financially less costly than its competitors. And the IDM makes poverty assessments that are comparable across contexts and over time.

Click here for the full report by the International Woman’s Development Agency Inc.

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