Measurement of Poverty in OIC Member Countries 2015
Date : 04 June 2015

Poverty is a complicated and multi-dimensional phenomenon that goes beyond the monetary aspects. In fact, it is associated with poor economies, poor human resources, poor social services provision, and poor policies to tackle the challenges facing human and socio-economic development. Poverty also arises when people lack access to adequate civic amenities like education and health services. Therefore, the status, the determinants, and the policy measures required to eradicate poverty would, by definition, vary from one country to another.

In terms of poverty alleviation, many OIC member countries have made significant progress over the years. As a result, the number of people living at $1.25 per day has decreased from 396 million in 1990 to 322 million in 2011 and the share of poor in OIC total population was recorded at 22.3% in 2011 compared to 41.1% in 1990. Despite these positive trends, OIC member countries are still lagging behind the world and developing countries averages in terms of poverty figures.

To design effective policies for reducing poverty, policy makers need accurate, timely and comprehensive data. However, being a multifaceted concept, measuring poverty is not a simple task conceptually and empirically.

Against this background, SESRIC project titled “Enhancing National Capacities of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member Countries in Poverty Statistics” carried out under the Project Cycle Management (PCM) Programme of Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) aimed at providing an overview about the state, causes and consequences of poverty in OIC member countries, improving national capacities in the area of poverty statistics and, thus, overall contributing to the National Statistical Systems (NSSs) of the OIC member countries.

The output of the project is compiled under the report titled “Measurement of Poverty in OIC Member Countries: Enhancing National Statistical Capacities” In Part I of the report, a brief analysis of various efforts made so far was provided in order to gauge the scale of poverty in the world especially by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of these measures. In Part II, the report gives a detailed analysis about the incidence of poverty in OIC member countries both in monetary and multidimensional contexts. It highlights the major causes and socio-economic consequences of poverty in OIC member countries as well as the major challenges and obstacles faced by the OIC member countries in their fight against poverty. Part III of the report mainly focusses on the current statistical practices, needs and strengths of OIC member countries in assessing poverty. In this regard, the key issues in poverty measurement are delineated based on the answers given by the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of OIC member countries to the Questionnaire prepared by SESRIC for this purpose. In Part IV, plans and strategies of the member countries are presented to sketch a roadmap for the future. The report also highlights the challenges faced by OIC member countries in terms of poverty measurement and provides effective recommendations in the area of poverty alleviation and monitoring the state of poverty in OIC member countries.

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