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Poverty Maps & Data
The poverty maps (and related study) were commissioned by the CGIAR Strategy Results and Framework Team and produced through contributions from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the World Bank. The principal aim of the project was to produce a new poverty map of the developing world that goes beyond simply mapping national average poverty rates (e.g. around 150 data points in a global map of developing world poverty) to provide a more nuanced depiction of poverty.
Poverty is defined as an economic condition in which one lacks both the money and basic necessities, such as food, water, education, healthcare, and shelter, necessary to thrive. (It is also characterized by less easily quantifiable characteristics, such as lack of participation in decision-making and civil, social, and cultural life.) Commonly measured by the average daily amount of money a person lives on, poverty is currently set at less than US$2 (PPP) per day (also called the $ 2 poverty line) for poverty and less than US$1.25 (PPP) per day (also called the $ 1.25 poverty line) for extreme poverty. The most common poverty metric is head count ratio (HCR), the percent of the population living below the established poverty line. These numbers are used to calculate absolute poverty numbers.
These maps, constructed using more than 24,000 sub-national data points for the developing world, are groundbreaking in two ways. First, the spatial team was able to negotiate access to many previously unavailable national poverty maps based on national poverty lines. Second, while acknowledging that significant conceptual and methodological issues remain, the team was able to construct the first-ever sub-national poverty map of the developing world (head count ratios and absolute numbers of poor people at $1.25 and $2.00 PPP 2005 poverty lines).