In the realm of global poverty measurement there is high tension among the various competing methods in defining global poverty lines. Those lines represent the amount of money one needs to avoid living in poverty. The highly criticized World Bank’s dollar-a-day method is by far the most well-known. In view of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17, Michail Moatsos MSc, researcher in economic and social history at Utrecht University, now brings an alternative that goes beyond the “one size fits all” dollar-a-day method. For this method to work better, he needs your help to define poverty around the world.
GlobalPoverty.World, your global poverty estimator
A unique crowd sourced definition of poverty around the world
Crowd sourced definition on poverty
Moatsos created the app GlobalPoverty.World.The app offers an interactive accessible platform for the users to be informed about global poverty, and define their own basic needs standards. With the app users from all over the world decide which costs go into the poverty line, using a simplified version of the method widely known as the “cost of basic needs”. This means that the poverty line is equal to the cost for basic food, shelter, and fuel among a few other items.
Global poverty perspectives
“This interaction allows us to consult and listen to the audience with respect to their own preferences in defining poverty locally or globally. We will use the material collected, regarding the user preferences on poverty standards, to analyze further global poverty perspectives”.
GlobalPoverty.World fulfills the recommendation of the widely respected World Bank’s Commission on Global Poverty, that strongly favors the cost of basic needs method as a complementary approach that should be used in monitoring the levels and trends in global poverty. Interestingly the characteristics of global poverty change decisively when the cost of basic needs approach is used instead of the dollar-a-day method. This has important repercussions on the monitoring of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 1 concerning the eradication of global poverty.
Michail Moatsos MSc is a PhD Candidate at the department of History and Art History, faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University. He is working on the research project Global Poverty and Income Inequality: Present and Past since 1820, supervised by Prof. Jan Luiten van Zanden.