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More precise targeting of poverty in South Asia

In line with the need to target activities where they contribute most to alleviating poverty, CIMMYT and the Rice-Wheat Consortium (RWC) for the Indo-Gangetic Plains, a CIMMYT-convened network of national programs and other partners in South Asia, have produced the publication “Livelihoods, poverty and targeting in the Indo- Gangetic Plains: A spatial mapping approach,” authored by CIMMYT scientists Olaf Erenstein, Jonathan Hellin, and Parvesh Chandna. It outlines results of work to develop a spatial mapping methodology that can guide priority-setting and targeting within the RWC. The approach draws on data for 18 quantitative, spatially-explicit variables, which serve as indicators of poverty based on the natural, social, human, physical, and financial assets of households, complementing the more conventional monetary approach to measure poverty.

Outputs include district-level spatial poverty maps for the four sub-regions of the Indo- Gangetic Plains in India, covering the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. In addition to its relevance for the RWC, the approach outlined and the results are of potential use for policy makers, researchers, or development practitioners who wish to ensure that agricultural research continues to contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth. The publication will soon be available through the RWC and the publications catalog on CIMMYT’s website.