For more than two decades, governments and development agencies around the world have focused on reducing poverty. There have been advances, but progress has been uneven and nearly a quarter of the world’s population still suffers from extreme “income poverty.” Income poverty, however, is only part of the picture. A multi-faceted account of poverty and human welfare incorporates elements that go beyond income to capture the characteristics of poverty as experienced by the poor themselves.
This book presents the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS). CBMS recognizes that the poor must be involved in planning public programs that affect their well-being. It further recognizes that, to be effective, development programs must be targeted and informed by relevant, current, accurate disaggregated data. To accomplish this, CBMS brings together communities and local authorities to gather and monitor locally obtained, verifiable information about actual living conditions, and to use this information for planning and policy-making.
Drawing from CBMS experience in Africa and Asia, the authors present recommendations for policymakers, donor agencies, and researchers. They also present guidelines for developing and implementing poverty monitoring systems in other regions of the world. For more analysis, discussion, and case material, visit the companion website, www.idrc.ca/in_focus_poverty , which is included with the book, on CD.
Celia Reyes is a Research Fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Co-Director of the Poverty and Economic Policy research network, and CBMS Network Leader, based in Manila.
Evan Due is Senior Program Specialist responsible for economics and trade programs at IDRC’s Singapore office.