Year Published

Research Topics



Publication Date: 09/01/2022
Type: Research Brief

Key Takeaways

  • A survey of poverty indicators surfaced 139 candidates, of which 36 were ultimately selected for inclusion in the study based on indicator construction, use, and timeliness.

  • The selected 36 poverty indicators relied primarily on 26 data sources, mainly household surveys and administrative government data.

  • Most indicators relied on household survey data and used multidimensional indices to comprehensively measure poverty, aside from poverty line and poverty gap measures which relied exclusively on income and consumption.

  • Indicators or indicator components were typically based on quantitative estimates of income or consumption, although an increasing number of measurements are instead classifying households according to deprivation of assets, food, or access to services and basic infrastructure.

  • Overall, critics find that an emphasis on poverty line measurements has led to an incomplete understanding of poverty’s prevalence and trends over the last several decades (UN Special Rapporteur, 2020).

  • No single indicator dominates on considerations of reliability, dimensions, depth or intensity, comparability, etc., but rather each measure involves tradeoffs.

  • If the goal is to increase the utility of commonly used indicators, including those considering multiple dimensions of poverty, then investments focused on expanding the coverage, frequency, or scope of nationally representative household surveys is a necessary first step.

  • Making cross-country comparisons using any poverty indicator runs the risk of using a common metric based on different data sources and collected in different years that may not fully reflect a household’s welfare. Indices which include multiple subcomponents may be more holistic, but even less reliable as the number of components requiring data increases.


Suggested citation:

Landscape Review of Poverty Measures. EPAR Technical Report #424 (2022). Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington. Retrieved <Day Month Year> from

Publication Date: 11/22/2019
Type: Research Brief

While literature on achieving Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT) through input market policies is relatively robust, literature on the effect of output market policies on IAT is rarer. We conduct a selective literature review of output market policies in low- and middle-income countries to assess their influence on IAT and find that outcomes are mixed across all policy areas. We also review indicators used to measure successful IAT,  typologies of market institutions involved in IAT, and agricultural policies and maize yield trends in East Africa. This report details our findings on these connected, yet somewhat disparate elements of IAT to shed more light on a topic that has not been the primary focus of the literature thus far.

EPAR Research Brief #66
Publication Date: 02/23/2010
Type: Research Brief

This report presents data on selected agricultural commodities for the fourth quarter of 2009 (October through December 2009) and the months of January and February 2010, where available. More specifically, this report provides a summary of recent changes and trends in prices, demand, supply, and market conditions for key agricultural commodities. We find that agricultural commodity prices declined significantly in 2009 from peak 2008 levels. At the end of 2009, however, commodity prices began to rebound, which contributed to concerns over a possible return to high prices. In January and February, gains in the value of the U.S. Dollar helped keep agricultural commodity prices subdued.

EPAR Technical Report #59
Publication Date: 12/15/2009
Type: Research Brief

Agriculture and Climate Change: Part I

With estimated global emissions of 5,969-6,615 metric tons (Mt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, agriculture accounts for about 13.5% of total global anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Deforestation contributes about 11.8% of total GHG emissions, releasing about 5,800 Mt CO2 per year. Developing countries are largely responsible for emissions from agriculture and deforestation, with the developing countries of South Asia and East Asia accounting for 17% and 25% of global agricultural emissions respectively. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) accounts for about 13% of global emissions from agriculture and 15% of emissions from land use change and forestry. This report examines the biophysical and economic potential of mitigating agriculture and land use GHG emissions, and provides a summary on the current and projected impact of global carbon market mechanisms on emission reductions. 

Agriculture and Climate Change: Part II

This report covers two topics related to agriculture and climate change in developing countries. The first section discusses the role of agricultural offsets in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Recent negotiations around a post-Kyoto Protocol agreement have included debate about whether agricultural carbon sequestration projects should be eligible under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). We examine the reasons for supporting or opposing this type of CDM reform and how these reasons relate to impacts on development goals and smallholder farmers, scientific uncertainty about carbon sequestration, and philosophical disagreement about the use of emission offsets. The second section covers proposed agricultural adaptation activities in Africa and other developing countries. While the majority of developing countries have outlined immediate adaptation needs in National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs), few have made progress in implementing adaptation activities. We find that issues related to financial resources, scientific and technical information, and capacity building continue to challenge developing countries in preparing for the impacts of climate change.