|SCN News, Number 09 - Focus on Micronutritients (ACC/SCN, 1993, 70 p.)|
(1993) by Hamid Tabatabai and Manal Fouad. International Labour Office, Geneva. 105 pages.
The renewed interest in poverty alleviation requires a deeper understanding of the problem. This suggests the need for strengthening the data base on poverty and its changes. This publication of ILO is a significant step towards filling this need. The search for relevant data on incidence of poverty is a time consuming process, and at times impossible due to lack of access to the original sources. Estimates of incidence of poverty are scattered in thousands of different articles, unpublished documents, reports, and books. The compilation presented in this publication serves the purpose as a single source document of most of the estimates of incidence of poverty of the last 20 years.
This report, which is in two parts, lists and summarizes a large number of recent (usually post 1970) studies on the incidence of absolute poverty in developing countries. The studies listed are all based on household income and expenditure surveys whose coverage is reasonably comprehensive, usually distinguishing between rural and urban poverty. For some large countries, e.g. India, there is also a regional breakdown of poverty. The poverty lines are usually derived from calorie requirements. The major world regions covered are Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and some developing countries in Europe. Part I lists the regions and countries and, for each country, presents in chronological order the main surveys, the incidence of poverty, the poverty line and the data source. Part II has background notes on the studies reviewed.
The survey will be useful in facilitating comparisons of poverty across countries, across regions in the same country or over time, because this can only be done with an absolute measure of poverty. There will also be less of an excuse for sticking with the rather crude measures based on per-capita GNP (whether adjusted or not for purchasing power) which are so popular today.
ILO publications can be obtained through major booksellers or ILO local offices in many countries, or direct from ILO Publications, International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland. A catalogue or list of new publications can be obtained free of charge from the above address.