Poverty is defined as an economic and social condition of lack of both money and basic necessities needed for a healthy and acceptable life, such as food, water, education, healthcare and shelter. It is also characterized by a lack of participation in decision-making and in civil, social and cultural life.

The most common poverty indicator is the headcount ratio (HCR), defined as the percent of population living below an absolute poverty line. The most commonly used poverty lines are the international $1.25 and $2 per-capita/day expressed in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) at a reference year (2005 in our case).

The HarvestChoice team in collaboration with CIAT extracted sub-national poverty prevalence rates from nationally representative household surveys conducted in various years. Our calculations are based on the comparison between the total household per-capita consumption expenditure (a synthetic indicator expressing the money-metric welfare utility level) and the international $1.25 and $2/day poverty lines. When no survey data is available for a particular country, we uniformly apply the 2005 national poverty prevalence rate as computed by the World Bank. As such, poverty rates refer to the actual survey year, although they are expressed at the same internationally comparable PPP. Since numbers are based on local currency value at 2005 PPP in HarvestChoice-generated poverty maps, cross-country poverty ratios are therefore comparable. Further refinement is under way to line-up all countries ratios at the same point in time (not all current data points refer to 2005, with a maximum time lag of +-2 years for a limited number of countries).

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