Accounting for the diversity of rural income sources in developing countries: The experience of the Rural Income Generating Activities Project
The RIGA project of the Food and Agriculture Organization created a growing database of 33 household living standards surveys from which a set of income aggregates and other measures of well-being were constructed in a methodologically consistent manner. Through this elaborate task a host of definitional and methodological issues arose that confirmed the need to reflect on the different stages leading to the construction of income aggregates for developing countries. These issues relate to topics such as the defining agricultural households, identifying rural areas, defining reference periods and frequencies, among other topics. We summarize both the RIGA methodology for income aggregate construction and the obstacles faced in their construction and offer a consolidated list of methodological recommendations for the measurement of household income levels.