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Comparing participatory and income measures

Analysis of poverty levels and dynamics in rural Kenya

Maren Radeny
Marrit van den Berg


This paper compares participatory and income approaches to studying poverty and poverty dynamics using a combination of panel data and a participatory community-based method called Stages-of- Progress. Using data from rural households in Kenya, we find a significant positive correlation between the results obtained using the two approaches. Nevertheless, we find discrepancies in poverty levels and dynamics as well. Poverty levels were much lower and with fewer transitions using the participatory approach compared to the income approach. Moreover, the participatory poverty measure showed a steady increase in poverty incidence among the sample population, from 19% in 1997 to 33% in 2009, whereas the income approach showed an initial decline between 1997 and 2000, followed by a variable but rising trend in poverty levels from 27% in 2000 to 54% in 2009.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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