Add new comment

clintonsears's picture
Joined: 01/11/2013 - 3:01am (US)
Use of poverty assessment tools for impact evaluation?

Hi all,

I support M&E for the LIFT (Livelihoods and Food Security Technical Assistance) project at FHI 360.  Please see our site if you would like background: As part of work to establish and facilitate linkages between health clinics and community-based services (primarily economic strengthening, livelihoods, and food security, or ES/L/FS), LIFT is going to test a number of poverty screening/assessment tools.  Our hope is to administer a short tool with clients at a health center to help make informed, appropriate referrals to ES/L/FS services available to households in their community.  It is our hope to develop a screening/assessment tool that will:

  • Quickly and accurately identify a client’s household poverty situation (using the provide, protect, promote framework, see page 4 of  We hope this can be followed over time to track household poverty, but this may be risky with a screening tool.
  • Allow a trained social worker (or perhaps skilled health staff) to refer clients to appropriate ES/L/FS services.  The screening tool will not be the basis of eligibility/ineligibility for services.  Rather, the social worker/health staff need to be trained to make competent referrals.

We are looking at the PPI (Progress out of Poverty Initiative) tools, the PAT (Poverty Assessment Tool), and the CSI (CARE’s Coping Strategies Index).  Approaches like HEA (Household Economy Approach) are too complex for the kind of work we need to do.


  • Are there other tools to consider? 
  • Do we have experience with in-house tools? 
  • Has anyone used these kinds of tools (in part or alone) for impact evaluation purposes?  Ideally, we would like to be able to incorporate repeat poverty measures into our impact evaluation.

I’m in Malawi until 2/10, but please feel free to email me at

Many thanks for your help and I look forward to collaborating with you!!


food security
economic strengthening