Are we there yet? Using the Bristol Approach to examine trends in absolute poverty in sub Saharan Africa between 1995 and 2015.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sch for Policy Studies

Abstract

This project will provide reliable, high quality data for assessing trends in poverty in sub Saharan Africa (SSA) between 1995 and 2015. The region contains many of the world's poorest countries, and as the 2015 deadline for the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, it is important to know whether or not poverty in the region is falling. Using an internationally-accepted definition of absolute poverty, and a ground-breaking peer-reviewed methodology, the project will use nationally-representative household surveys, with individual-level data, to develop age- and gender- relevant indicators of deprivation for basic needs. These data and indicators will be used to answer a series of important questions about the extent and distribution of poverty in SSA. For example, do women and girls make up a disproportionate share of the poor in Africa? Is poverty reduction occurring more rapidly in urban areas than in rural areas? Which counties in SSA have achieved the largest reductions in poverty, and how have they achieved this? Has child poverty declined at the same rate as adult poverty? What are the implications for policy of using different methods to measure poverty in Africa?

Data produced by the research will allow for the creation of thematic maps, which will reveal graphically the countries/regions making most progress in reducing poverty and deprivation of basic needs. These data will be of interest to and can be used by academics across a range of disciplines, policy makers, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies interested in poverty and development in SSA.
The work is important because existing indicators of extreme poverty, like the World Bank's $1/day measure, have been roundly criticised on both theoretical and methodological grounds. Critics have demonstrated that such indicators underestimate the extent of poverty, and as such are not reliable of valid measures. This project will demonstrate that meaningful alternative indicators can be developed and used to show how levels of poverty in SSA have changed over time. It builds on earlier work done by the University of Bristol for UNICEF and the UK DfID, which made a significant impact in the ways in which poverty is conceptualised, defined and measured. For example, the methods of poverty measurement and indicators developed by the University of Bristol now form a core part of UNICEF's Global Study of Child Poverty and Disparities, being conducted in over 50 countries around the world, including India and China. This new project will provide data to show whether or not anti-poverty policies applied in sub Saharan African countries over the last twenty years have been successful.

Planned Impact

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE RESEARCH?
Previous work by the applicant led to the UN General Assembly adopting an international definition of child poverty, enabling UNICEF to launch its Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities in over 50 countries. Researchers and policy advocates based in non-academic institutions, non-governmental organisations and international organisations (e.g. UN agencies like WHO, UNDP, UNDESA, UNRISD, UN ECA and UNICEF), as well as government departments will also benefit. Each has strong links to academia. Widespread media coverage about progress towards the MDGS is anticipated, so journalists will also use the research. The project will inform the general public about poverty in sub Saharan Africa, through short pieces written for newspapers, media interviews, and press releases. The MDGs will be covered extensively by the media in 2015, and information generated by the project will inform people about the nature and extent of progress in the poorest region of the world.
HOW WILL THEY BENEFIT FROM THE RESEARCH?
The research will produce policy-relevant nationally-representative statistics on poverty and deprivation, disaggregated by age, gender. These data can form the basis of independent assessments not only of poverty, but also the extent and distribution of other key deprivations, such as health, education, and access to basic services. Harmonised versions of the survey data will be deposited with the UK data archive for beneficiaries wishing to run their own analyses. This will be a key outcome of the project. Project outputs will detail the theory, methods and data being used, and beneficiaries will be invited to apply these in their own research. Advice and training (i.e. capacity development) will be offered to anyone wishing to use the methodology and data, particularly beneficiaries from sub Saharan Africa. The research will produce maps which will be made available to beneficiaries.
WHAT WILL BE DONE TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO BENEFIT FROM THE RESEARCH?
Conference: results will be disseminated via an international conference hosted in Bristol in 2015 hosted by the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research and BIPA. Invited speakers will be asked to comment on the project's findings, their implications for the MDGs and wider anti-poverty policies, and also to present their own work on poverty in Africa. The conference will be open to the general public, with formal invitations made to key journalists, NGOs (Oxfam, Save the Children, Action Aid, etc) and government departments (DfID, Education).
Research visits: A 1-week visit will be made to Addis Ababa, to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), both of which have links to organisations across sub Saharan Africa working on poverty reduction.
Outputs: will be published in English, French and Portuguese, to maximise accessibility and use to beneficiaries in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. Articles explaining the research, its methods and findings will be written for non-academic audiences in English, French and Portuguese outlets
Websites: project materials and updates will be linked to the University of Bristol's website, and also to the websites of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research, the Bristol Institute of Public Affairs and the UCT, UWC, UNECA and the ACPF .
Particular effort will be made to ensure that the presentation and organization of results is compatible with UN monitoring data bases like DevInfo.
There are many poverty-, development-, and Africa-related internet discussion groups and mailing lists (like those of the Townsend Centre and New School's Equity for Children website), whose memberships include academics, policy makers, students, advocacy groups and others. I will use these to promote awareness of the project and eventually to disseminate findings.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Among the many findings from this work, the most interesting relate to changes in child undernutrition in some poor countries. For example, while there was little reduction in child underweight in Nigeria over a 15 year period, in Ethiopia significant progress was made in reducing malnutrition in young children, despite large increases in food prices from 2005. Work is ongoing to see how the regional as a whole performed with regards reducing child malnutrition from 2000 to 2015.
Exploitation Route Organisations like UNICEF are using the work to show the situation of children living in poverty in sub Saharan Africa. They have also encouraged national governments to adopt and apply methods developed and used during the project in their own countries. One example of this is in Uganda, where the National Bureau of Statistics is testing the consensual approach, with an aim of running a question module in later in 2016.
Sectors Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

 
Description My work led to interest from UNICEF Uganda and the Government of Somaliland to provide assistance to improve the measurement of poverty and child poverty. I have also been working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Pacific Statistics Steering Committee (PSSC) and the national statisticians of the Kingdom of Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Cook Islands to develop a module of survey questions to assess multidimensional poverty according to national definitions as required by the Sustainable Development Goals target 1.2. The approach was formally adopted by a PSSC and SPC meeting in March 2017 for the region. The regional office for UNICEF has also expressed a desire to collaborate on work applying the Consensual Approach (outlined in my 2016 paper in Social Indicators Research) with children. Since leaving the University of Bristol, I have continued to work on promoting the Consensual Approach to poverty measurement, and have successfully worked with UNICEF Uganda and UNICEF Iran in promoting the approach.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description ESRC Research Impact Acceleration Project
Amount £19,962 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description ESRC Research Impact Acceleration Project - GCRF
Amount £5,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Wallenberg Foundation
Amount 8,300,000 kr (SEK)
Organisation Wallenberg Foundations 
Sector Private
Country Sweden
Start 07/2016 
End 07/2021
 
Description Global Living Standards Project 
Organisation University of Gothenburg
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The project, funded by the Wallenburg Foundation, will begin in July 2016, and run for 4 years. My role will involve harmonisation and preparation of household survey data sets, including the DHS, MICS, HIES and WHS. Other contributions include conference presentations and the preparation of papers for publication with leading social science journals.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners, at the University of Gothenberg and UCLA, will be involved in data analysis, conferences and the production of journal articles.
Impact Collaboration to start formally in 2016
Start Year 2012
 
Description MACHEQuity Collaboration 
Organisation McGill University
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The MACHEQuity project is using harmonised household survey data I have produced, and in particular indicators on the health and well being of women and children. My contributions have included: (i) provision of harmonised survey data; (ii) advising on data availability and sources; (iii) mentoring staff and advising graduate students at McGill University; (iv) presentations at workshops in Canada, UK, USA, South Africa, Peru and India;
Collaborator Contribution MACHEQuity colleagues have: (i) hosted me in Montreal, Los Angeles, Lima, Bangalore and Cape Town, for workshops and project meetings; (ii) funded a trip to Los Angeles in 2015, to the Monitoring and Accountability Conference [http://worldpolicycenter.org/events-and-launches/monitoring-and-accountability-conference]; (iii) worked together on grant applications to funders including the Hilton Foundation and Gates Foundation.
Impact In preparation
Start Year 2012
 
Description MACHEQuity Collaboration 
Organisation University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The MACHEQuity project is using harmonised household survey data I have produced, and in particular indicators on the health and well being of women and children. My contributions have included: (i) provision of harmonised survey data; (ii) advising on data availability and sources; (iii) mentoring staff and advising graduate students at McGill University; (iv) presentations at workshops in Canada, UK, USA, South Africa, Peru and India;
Collaborator Contribution MACHEQuity colleagues have: (i) hosted me in Montreal, Los Angeles, Lima, Bangalore and Cape Town, for workshops and project meetings; (ii) funded a trip to Los Angeles in 2015, to the Monitoring and Accountability Conference [http://worldpolicycenter.org/events-and-launches/monitoring-and-accountability-conference]; (iii) worked together on grant applications to funders including the Hilton Foundation and Gates Foundation.
Impact In preparation
Start Year 2012
 
Description Poverty in the Pacific 
Organisation Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Country New Caledonia 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I applied for an ESRC Impact Acceleration fund, to work with SPC to advise governments of Pacific Island Countries and Territories on how to collect data on poverty and to use it for policy. In particular promoting use of the Consensual Approach to Poverty Measurement. This work includes (with an RA): (i) advising national statistical offices across the Pacific region, and in particular those in the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Fiji and Niue; (ii) preparing discussion papers regarding the theory and methods behind the Consensual Approach for SPC and the Pacific Statistics Steering Committee (PSSC); (iii) providing training workshops for survey enumerators in the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga; (iv) appearances on national radio and TV in Tonga explaining the project
Collaborator Contribution SPC has hosted the RA at workshops in the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, to train survey enumerators, and worked with us to advise the PSSC on the need to adopt and apply the Consensual Approach in national household surveys.
Impact Outputs so far: Discussion Paper "Adoption of a Consensual Poverty Question Module for Pacific Island Country and Territory Household Surveys" submitted to Pacific Statistics Steering Committee meeting, Nadi, Fiji, 25-29 May, 2015. Also circulated to regional UNICEF, UNDP and other UN agencies in the region; Report on Child Poverty in Tonga by Fifita, Nandy and Gordon; Blog piece by Dr Nandy on Policy Bristol website (March 2015), http://policybristol.blogs.bris.ac.uk/2015/03/16/poverty-in-paradise/ Activities also include : - Preparation of a discussion paper for a Pacific Statistics Steering Committee (PSSC), held in Fiji in May 2015, and its wider dissemination to national statistical offices across the region, and to regional offices of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Food Programme (WFP)/UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO); - Preparation of training materials - a handbook for survey enumerators implementing the poverty module; - Provision of three day-long training workshops of survey enumerators in Tuvalu by the RA, Viliami Konfelenisi Fifita (VKF); piloting the question module; advising on translation of module into Tuvalu language; round table discussions with national statisticians and planners, including officials from the Tuvalu Ministry of Finance and Statistics and Department of Trade, and enumerators from other PICTS; - In Tuvalu VKF held important informal discussions with local people and community leaders, churches and community groups, about poverty in the PICTS and UoB's role in the project; - VKF held discussions in Fiji (4th September, 2015) with the Government Statistician Mr. Epeli Waqavonovono about including the poverty module in next Household Income and Expenditure Survey(HIES); and also with local UNDP (Mr Patrick Tuimalealiifano) and UNICEF representatives (Salote Kaimacuata, Child protection specialist and Sinta Satriana, Social Policy Specialist); presented Child poverty in Tonga report at survey enumerator workshop; - In Tonga VKF met with the Prime Minister (17th September, 2015, 40 minutes) and Deputy Prime Minister (22nd September, 2015, 10 minutes), presenting the Child Poverty in Tonga report, and explaining our role in providing support to the PICTS in poverty data collection and analysis. Both the PM and Deputy PM were appreciative of the work being done to improve poverty measurement in Tonga, which they reaffirmed as a priority issue; - 23 September 2015, Presentation of Child Poverty report and Poverty module briefing to the Division of Social Protection and Disability in the Tongan Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), with CEO of the MIA present (nb: the CEO is the equivalent of a Deputy Minister); - Presentation to UN agency focal points in Tonga, including UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the heads of National Planning and National Budget divisions of Ministry of Finance and National Planning; - Two 30 minute shows on national TV and radio, broadcast by the Tongan Broadcasting Commission (on 16th and 23rd September 2015; VKF also appeared on prime time TV news (footage can been see 8 minutes in to the broadcast of 22nd September 2015 - http://tonga-broadcasting.net/tv-tonga-news/)
Start Year 2015
 
Description Quality of Government and Child Poverty 
Organisation University of Gothenburg
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Having commenced the FRL project, Swedish colleagues at the University of Gothenberg applied for funding to link their work on the quality of governance to my work on poverty indicators. This collaboration has resulted in funds from the Swedish Central Bank and in December 2015 from the Wallenburg Foundation (£640,000), to extend the work to 2020. My contribution have included: (i) the provision of data; (ii) training staff in Gothenberg; (iii) dissemination activities in Sweden, and at workshops in Canada, the USA, South Africa and India; (iv) presentations at conferences in South Korea and South Africa; (v) writing joint papers for publication.
Collaborator Contribution Swedish colleagues hosted me on visits to Gothenberg, provided access to resources at the University of Gothenberg, actively pursued further funding to extend the project to 2020. In December 2015 we were awarded £640,000 from the Wallenberg Foundation to take the work on to 2020.
Impact Journal papers [published] 2015 Moradi, F, Daoud, A, Ibrahim, RA, and Nandy, S, 'Iraq' in Odekon, M (Ed) The SAGE Encyclopedia of World Poverty, pp840-842Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. ISBN: 9781483345703 2013 Hallerod, B, Rothstein, B, Nandy, S & Daoud, A, 'Bad governance and poor children: a comparative analysis of government efficiency and severe child deprivation in 68 low- and middle-income countries' World Development, vol 48, pp. 19-31 2012 - Hallerod, B, Rothstein B, Daoud, A., and Nandy S., Poor government and poor children: An analysis of government efficiency and sever child deprivation in 70 low- and middle-income countries., University of Gothenburg, The Quality of Government Institute, Working Paper Series 2012:9 Journal papers [in press] 2016 S Nandy and A Daoud, "Examining the changing profile of undernutrition in the context of food price rises and greater inequality", Social Science & Medicine. Journal papers [under review] Nandy, S and Daoud, A, "Political regimes, corruption and child poverty in India", submitted to Oxford Bulletin of Development Studies. Nandy, S and Ekbrand, H, "Inter-state differences in caste-specific risks for child deprivation in India", submitted to Journal of Poverty and Social Justice. Conference papers September 2015 - H Ekbrand, B Hallerod and S Nandy, From Welfare to Wellbeing: Child Indicators in Research, Policy & Practice 5th International Society for Child Indicators Conference, Having faith in girls - the educational gender gap among Christians, Hindus, and Muslims in 71 low- and middle-income countries and Indian states, University of Cape Town, South Africa. June 2014 - Foundation for International Studies on Social Security (FISS) 21st International Research Seminar, paper with A Daoud, "Political regimes, corruption and absolute child poverty in India", Stockholm, Sweden.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Access to Bristol /Widening Participation talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talk to prospective students as part of the Access to Bristol activities, via the widening participation programme

After my talk students were keen to know more about my research and what they would learn if they came to study in my department.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description CCTV-America Interview [www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPu1h-hJAg8] 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Following the interview I received a number of emails congratulating me on the interview, for the information I provided and requests for more information on my work.

There was an increase number of "Reads" of my work on ResearchGate; my work was selected to be an Impact Story for the University of Bristol.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bristol.ac.uk/research/impact-stories/2015/gold-standard-for-measuring-child-poverty.html
 
Description Poverty in the South Pacific workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A workshop with high level policy makers from the Kingdom of Tonga, and national statistical officers from 5 pacific nations - Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, Kiribati, and Vanuatu, on how the measurement of poverty could be improved in the region, to make it more aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.publicnow.com/view/56B82FBB59DEA554C2F1DB17AEA73A8332D299B6?2016-12-15-19:31:19+00:00-xxx...
 
Description Sutton Coldfield International Development Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presented a talk on "Why Children Go to Bed Hungry"; debated with Former Minister for International Development Andrew Mitchell MP about global poverty reduction targets and achievements; questions and discussion followed

Received emails following up points raised during the meeting; requests for further material and information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.suttoncoldfieldconservatives.com/news/international-expert-speakers-gather-explore-deeper...
 
Description Workshop with UNICEF Uganda and Uganda Bureau of Statistics on Consensual Approach to Poverty Measurement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I made presentations at the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and to an invited audience at UNICEF Uganda's country office about the use of the consensual approach to poverty measurement. This resulted in an expression of interest to collaborate, and later to bid for a research project run by UBOS and UNICEF Uganda. Our application was successful, and we secured funding for an 18 month project, helping UBOS to develop survey materials and enumerator training, to include a question module in the national household survey.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016