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First Look: Poverty Tools Practicality

Challenges and lessons learned in testing the practicality of poverty tools
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This note from Senegal discusses the challenges and lessons that Enterprise Works/Vita (EWV) learned in testing the practicality of USAID poverty tools.

The note presents information about:

  • EWV's work in Senegal:
    • Assisting micro, small and medium enterprises to help them generate income and employment;
    • Assist in the stabilization of the region and its economy.
  • EWV's eagerness to test the USAID poverty assessment tools.

The note lists the following challenges that EWV surveyors faced in assessing the tools in Senegal:

  • The decision to best achieve a representative sample of clients;
  • The complexity of the testing goals of the poverty assessment tool survey;
  • The need to translate the English questionnaire into French and then into three local languages;
  • The flexibility of the notion of household and family in Africa, which made it difficult to answer the question of how many people were there in a household;
  • Inflated answers to the question, "how much does the household need per month to live?"
  • Respondents' expectations that the survey team would offer them financial help;
  • Obtaining answers to questions that were just not applicable to the local context.

The note concludes that in the process of practicality testing:

  • EWV gained practical insight from its clients;
  • Surveyors were very satisfied with the assessment framework.