A validity assessment of the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI)™

Eval Program Plann. 2015 Apr:49:10-8. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Nov 15.


Development organisations need easy-to-use and quick-to-implement indicators to quantify poverty when requested to measure program impact. In this paper we assess the validity of the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI)™, a country-specific indicator based on ten closed questions on directly observable household characteristics, by its compliance to the SMART criteria. Each response receives a pre-determined score, such that the sum of these scores can be converted into the likelihood the household is living below the poverty line. We focus on the PPI scorecard for Rwanda, which was validated using two national household surveys conducted in 2005/06 and 2010/11. The PPI is Specific, Measurable, Available cost effectively, and Timely available. Yet, its Relevance depends on the way it is used. Although it accurately distinguishes poor from non-poor households, making it a useful reporting tool, its limited sensitivity to changes in poverty status restricts its usefulness for evaluating the impact of development projects.

Keywords: Expenditure poverty; Impact evaluation; Poverty measurement; Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI)™; Rwanda.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Family Characteristics
  • Humans
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Rwanda
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data