Monday, 17 March 2014

The most rapid survey-based tracking of hunger and poverty in the world

An IRRI Seminar

By Mahar Mangahas
Social Weather Stations

1:15-2:15 p.m., Thursday, 20 March 2014
Havener Auditorium, IRRI

A very practical way to measure hunger and poverty is to use household surveys that accept subjective measurement of wellbeing. This has been demonstrated by Social Weather Stations ( in national surveys for nearly three decades now. SWS surveyed poverty twice a year in 1986-91 and has been doing this quarterly since 1992. It has surveyed hunger quarterly since 1998. The reason for doing surveys quarterly is to synchronize the tracking of economic deprivation with that of economic growth.

The SWS survey series discovered, and publicly reported, the non-inclusivity of Philippine economic growth much earlier than the official surveys of deprivation, which had been done only once every three years from 1985 to 2012.

The SWS surveys found poverty and hunger to be much more volatile than the triennial series could have anticipated. It also discovered that, whereas hunger and poverty are correlated across individuals at any point in time, their relationship is not fixed across time, making it possible for the poverty incidence and the hunger incidence to occasionally move in opposite directions from one quarter to another.

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