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?
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?
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).
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.