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Impacts of policies on poverty: The definition of poverty. EASYPol Series 004

This conceptual and technical paper illustrates how poverty can be defined in the context of policy impact analysis. After reporting and discussing the definition of poverty as “the lack of, or the inability to achieve, a socially acceptable standard of living”, it discusses the mono-dimensional and multi-dimensional approaches to the definition of poverty. Furthermore, the module focuses on the absolute and the relative concept of poverty, also drawing some analogies and differences with the concept of food security. A step-by-step procedure, illustrated by real case examples, is then provided to guide the reader through the process of poverty definition for policy impact analysis.

This paper is part of a FAO Policy series: EASYPol-Resources for policy making (in agriculture, rural development and food security). To find other EASYPol series' resources, go to the Policy Support and Governance website>Resources and type "EASYPol" in the free text search.