The handbook on poverty and inequality provides tools to measure, describe, monitor, evaluate, and analyze poverty. It provides background materials for designing poverty reduction strategies. This book is intended for researchers and policy analysts involved in poverty research and policy making. The handbook began as a series of notes to support training courses on poverty analysis and gradually grew into a sixteen, chapter book. Now the Handbook consists of explanatory text with numerous examples, interspersed with multiple-choice questions (to ensure active learning) and combined with extensive practical exercises using stata statistical software.
The Handbook is designed to be accessible to people with a university-level background in science or social sciences. It treats the material at a Master’s-degree level, with an emphasis on intuitive explanations and practical examples. It also provides the skills needed to be able to work on poverty analysis straightaway, and gives a solid foundation for those headed toward a research career in the subject.
There are four reasons to measure poverty:
- To keep poor people on the agenda
- To be able to identify poor people and so to be able to target appropriate interventions
- To monitor and evaluate projects and policy interventions geared to poor people
- To evaluate the effectiveness of institutions whose goal is to help poor people.
In preparing the Handbook, we have drawn heavily on the extensive and excellent work by Martin Ravallion of the World Bank’s Development Research Group; the discussion in the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty; as well as background papers.
Questions, comments, and suggestions related to the Handbook are most welcome, because they allow us to improve the Handbook as we update and extend it; they should be directed to Shahidur Khandker. Our goal is to increase the capacity to undertake poverty analysis everywhere. We hope that the Handbook represents a useful step in this direction.