The aim of this paper is to explore poverty thresholds from an economic perspective. In so doing, the paper will make three important contributions. First, it will contribute to our understanding of the notion of 'extreme poverty' as a distinct category. Second, it will help 'locate' in socio-economic terms the target population of Shiree beneficiaries. Finally, it will help identify and assess useful graduation indicators. Poverty thresholds refer to minimum levels below which a person is considered to lack adequate subsistence and to be living in poverty. The poverty threshold is useful as an economic tool to define and measure the socio-economic position of the poor and to design relevant programmes to reduce poverty.
In Bangladesh, nearly one-third of the population of around 160 million lives below the national poverty line. It is also the most densely populated country in the world barring a few small city states like Singapore. With such a high incidence of poverty, the government as well as nongovernment organizations are active in implementing anti-poverty programs.
Shiree plays an important role to help the poorest in the country with a mission of lifting 1 million people out of extreme poverty by 2015. From the outset therefore SHIREE targeted a beneficiary population which was amongst the poorest of the poor. The present study, hence, provides us an opportunity to examine, inter alia the socio-economic status of the SHIREE beneficiaries and to assess whether or not they are among the very poorest of the country.
Zulfiqar Ali. Poverty Thresholds Analysis: Reassessing and Revalidating Quantitative Indicators. Shiree Working Paper No. 10. Shiree, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2012) 20 pp.