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Developing measures of poverty

Helping governments monitor progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goals for poverty and nutrition.

Developing measures of poverty

Researchers at Cardiff University have been working with United Nations agencies and national statistical offices in several countries to develop indicators to monitor progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals for poverty and nutrition.

Dr Shailen Nandy and Dr Marco Pomati are collaborating with researchers and national statisticians in Peru, Bangladesh, Uganda, Fiji, and Tonga to develop local research capacity in the hope of reducing dependence on costly overseas experts.

In December 2017, Dr Nandy and Dr Pomati provided training in Kampala, Uganda for local researchers. Working with UNICEF and the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), the two-day course focused on the measurement of poverty and deprivation in using national surveys.

Following the workshop, a joint report with UNICEF and the EPRC, identified poverty and deprivation rates among children in refugee-hosting communities in northern and western Uganda.

In September 2018, Dr Nandy and Dr Pomati presented the results of their two-year Global Challenges Research Fund project on multiple malnutrition among children at a workshop in Addis Ababa. The workshop was co-hosted by the African Child Policy Forum, a pan-African research and advocacy group.

Key findings

Multiple malnutrition among young children

Using data on over 165,000 children under 5 years old, from 19 countries across West and Central Africa, the project provided the first ever data on the extent, patterning and trends in multiple malnutrition in young children, from the mid-1990s to present day.

Results showed that millions of malnourished children in the West and Central African region are being missed by conventional estimates of malnutrition, and that the number of malnourished children in the region is greater than currently realised.

Child Poverty and Deprivation in Refugee-hosting Regions of Uganda

Working with UNICEF Uganda and research partners at the EPRC, Dr Nandy and Dr Pomati’s report was the first-ever use of the Consensual Approach to poverty measurement in Uganda among refugees and refugee-hosting communities.

The report demonstrated the severe and widespread lack of basic needs for shelter, healthcare, and basic services among both refugee and host communities. It highlighted the considerable regional disparities throughout Uganda, with conditions particularly stark in the West Nile and northern regions.

Knowledge Exchange and Training Workshops

Dr Nandy and Dr Pomati have run training and knowledge exchange workshops in Uganda, Fiji, Tonga, and Addis Ababa. These workshops have been informed by their research on multidimensional poverty and multiple malnutrition.

Participants at the workshops have included researchers, policy makers, government statisticians, UN agency staff (UNICEF, World Food Programme, UNDP), local government ministries, NGOs, academics and post-graduate students.

Working with UNICEF

“Dr Pomati and Dr Nandy have been working with UNICEF and national statistical offices to improve the ways in which poverty is conceptualised, defined, measured and assessed around the world.”

“Research demonstrated the severe and widespread lack of basic needs for shelter, healthcare, and basic services among both refugee and host communities. It highlighted the considerable regional disparities throughout Uganda, with conditions particularly stark in the West Nile and northern regions.”

Research impact

The research conducted by Dr Nandy and Dr Pomati has produced the first ever national and regional estimates of multiple malnutrition for the countries of western and central Africa, one of the poorest regions of the world.

The research has been presented to international organisations including UNICEF, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa, local ministries of health and education, and research institutes in Uganda, Ethiopia, Fiji and Tonga. Workshops run by Pomati and Nandy have provided training to local researchers and national statisticians working on poverty and malnutrition, with projects being developed to influence how multidimensional poverty can be measured and monitored for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Results from the report published in association with UNICEF Uganda are now being used by advocacy groups to campaign for greater resources in refugee-hosting regions in Uganda and across Africa.

Research by Dr Pomati had led to the European Union adopting a new indicator of material deprivation, which will be used to monitor Europe 2020 and Sustainable Development Goals targets for all member states, covering 500 million people.


Meet our experts

Dr Marco Pomati

Dr Marco Pomati

Lecturer in Social Sciences and Research Methods

Email:
pomatim@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0) 29 2087 9678
Dr Shailen Nandy

Dr Shailen Nandy

Reader

Email:
nandys1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9675