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Methodological issues in the measurement of poverty : an analysis of two poverty surveys in Lestho

Bloem, Jeanette (2001-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

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ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study analyses poverty and deprivation in Lesotho on the basis of data from two comprehensive household surveys undertaken in 1993 and 1999. The aim of this study was to create a better understanding of poverty and deprivation in Lesotho. The analysis shows that the mountain areas of Lesotho suffer the worst levels of poverty and inequality both in terms of income/consumption and non-income measures compared to the other areas of the country. Poverty was found to be highest amongst households with older heads and higher mean numbers of members. The poor were found to suffer from lack of resources, access to education, basic services such as clean water, proper sanitation facilities and modem energy sources, and have little access to productive resources. The study uses an income-based definition of poverty for most of the analysis. In addition, it develops a broad-based index of deprivation including access to services, education, employment, income, and number of durable assets and traditional wealth. While on average the two indicators correspond fairly closely, the income poverty measure fails to capture those households that are deprived of many of the non-income measures of well-being. The broader deprivation measure provides a more comprehensive understanding of poverty. The conclusions arrived at when the two measures are used show that the concepts and indicators that one uses to measure poverty and deprivation matter a lot in identifying the poor since different conceptions of poverty/deprivation identify different groups with different characteristics as poor. The results also suggest the need for the use of different measures of poverty.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie analiseer armoede en deprivasie in Lesotho na aanleiding van twee omvattende huishoudingopnames van 1993 en 1999. Die doel hiermee was om 'n meer omvattende begrip van armoede en deprivasie in Lesotho te verkry. Die analise toon dat die bergstreke van Lesotho, vergeleke met die res van die land, die hoogste mate van armoede en ongelykheid het, soos gemeet deur beide inkomste/verbruik en nie-inkomste gebaseerde maatstawwe van armoede. Armoede blyk die grootste te wees in huishoudings met meerderjarige hoofde asook in huishoudings met gemiddeld meer lede. Daar is ook gevind dat arm huishoudings gekenmerk word deur 'n gebrek aan hulpbronne, toegang tot opvoeding en basiese dienste soos skoon water, genoegsame sanitasiefasiliteite en moderne energiebronne, asook 'n beperkte toegang tot produksiehulpbronne. Die studie maak grotendeels gebruik van 'n inkomstegebaseerde definisie van armoede. 'n Breër indeks van deprivasie word ook ontwikkel wat onder andere insluit: toegang tot dienste, opvoeding, werksgeleenthede, inkomste, hoeveelheid bestendige bates en tradisionele rykdom. Alhoewel die twee indikatore relatief goed ooreenstem, kon die inkomste-gebaseerde meting van armoede nie daarin slaag om die huishoudings te onderskep wat geklassifiseer word as gedepriveerd op verskeie nie-inkomste indikatore van welvaart nie. Die breër indeks van deprivasie verskaf 'n meer omvattende begrip van armoede. Die gevolgtrekking wat hieruit gemaak word, is dat die konsepte en indikatore wat gebruik word om armoede en deprivasie te meet, van belang is in die identifisering van behoeftiges. Die rede hiervoor is dat verskillende konsepsies van armoede/deprivasie verskillende groepe met verskillende eienskappe identifiseer as behoeftiges. Die resultate suggereer dus 'n behoefte vir die gebruik van verskillende maatstawwe van armoede.

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