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Using Simple Cross-Country Comparisons to Guide Measurement : Poverty in the CFA Franc Zone

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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa
2012-08-13T08:56:10Z | 2012-08-13T08:56:10Z | 2007-10

In order to inform discussions on the extent of poverty in a country, it is often useful to compare the country's poverty measures to estimates obtained in other countries with similar levels of development within the same region of the world. Beyond gains from the point of view of cross-country comparisons that such an approach provides, there are also potential gains from such comparisons in terms of realigning a country's poverty estimates and better informing policy choices within the country. This is because where the poverty line or threshold is set is somewhat normative and thereby open to debate, and because poverty estimates are highly sensitive to the choice of the poverty line (even if poverty comparisons over time or across groups may not be), it is often difficult for agencies such as National Statistical Offices or government units in charge of Poverty Reduction Strategies in any given country to adopt a critical perspective on their own poverty estimates. This issue of Findings looks at how to use simple cross country comparisons and how to guide measurement of poverty in the CFA franc zone.

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