The Progress out of Poverty Index® (PPI®) is a client poverty assessment and targeting tool that provides objective poverty-level data for organizations to use within their social performance management system. It is an inexpensive and easy-to-collect scorecard (10 questions) that assesses simple, non-financial indicators. The Grameen Foundation, in collaboration with CGAP, the Ford Foundation, and other donors, commissioned Microfinance Risk Management, L.L.C. to develop PPIs globally. The PPI provides information that enables users to better understand their clients’ needs and evaluate the effectiveness of their programs and products. In the past five years, the Grameen Foundation, in partnership with global and regional microfinance networks and industry leaders in the social performance community, has offered training, resources and support to promote adoption of the PPI. Currently, Grameen Foundation is aware of 106 different organizations globally using the PPI.
The USAID Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT), is a short and simple household survey (albeit typically a bit longer than the PPI) used to measure the prevalence of poverty among a population. Each PAT includes a short, country-specific survey (10–25 questions) that takes less than 20 minutes to conduct. The survey collects a variety of information, including household member characteristics, housing conditions, and ownership of durable assets. The data gathered from these surveys is then entered into a data-entry template, from which specific software (CSPro or Epi Info) processes the data to calculate simple statistics and estimates the share of households living below several poverty lines. The basis for the PAT surveys is 10 to 25 indicators that have been identified as the best predictors of the poverty levels. These indicators were selected with statistical methods from a large pool of potential indicators derived from data from nationally representative household surveys. PAT implementers are supported by a wide variety of free resources, including country-specific user guides, an implementation manual, in-person and online trainings, an online forum and a help desk. By mid-September 2011, PATs will be available for 38 countries; currently 25-30 organizations are using them.