View short presentations on PATs, Poverty & Vulnerability, and Choosing Poverty Assessment Tools or Methodologies

Applications of PAT Data

There are a number of different ways to apply what you learn from PAT data to learn about the populations you are working with and to make program improvements. Below are a few broad categories.

What does PAT data tell you?

poverty lines

PATs tell you the percent of households (to whom you have applied the PAT survey) that are living above or below a given poverty line. Poverty lines vary by country-specific tool.

What can we do with this information?

Point in Time and Change over time image

PAT data can be used to understand poverty at a point in time – how poor are people right now, recognizing that if ‘now’ is during the dry season, people might be more poor than at a time of year when crops flourish. The PAT itself will not tell you specifically about appropriateness of products and services but can help you verify previous assumptions about how people live and how they meet their financial needs.

Repeating a PAT periodically allows you to see changes over time. Again, PAT will not tell you WHY you see changes but can help verify assumptions about changes you anticipated or predicted. Keep in mind that poverty does not change overnight, even with influxes of cash support, so PATs are more likely to show changes over a period of one or more years (rather than months).

Comare Groups and Targeting image

There is a lot to be learned from comparing groups that have different characteristics and also comparing groups who, for example, have varying levels of experience or participation in our activities. How do the poverty levels of new program recruits compare to households that we’ve been working with for 3 or more years? Again, PAT will not tell you WHY you see the results you do but provides statistical evidence to support or oppose other theories you may have about people’s poverty levels.

Targeting is mentioned with caution because it is a common question asked about PAT – can it be used for targeting individuals or households? The short answer is no – PATs are calibrated to be accurate at the aggregate level and household-level misclassifications are expected as previously explained. However, when used in conjunction with other measurements related to poverty, income, assets or other targeting criteria, some organizations have used HH level PAT expenditure calculations for analysis.


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