The objective of a Poverty Assessment (PA) is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the basic poverty facts and to identify and analyze key country policy challenges related to sustainable poverty reduction. Since poverty is cross cutting, these reports address a wide variety of issues. A typical PA characterizes who and where the poor are, and the trends in monetary and non-monetary indicators of poverty and inequality along numerous dimensions, especially gender and ethnicity. Other issues covered may include the links between growth, poverty and inequality, the drivers of change in income distribution, micro-constraints to job creation and productivity growth, the rural economy, the role of labor markets (e.g., informal employment and internal migration), and inequality of access to education, health, basic infrastructure and services, and to old age protection. The reports propose a variety of policy and institutional reforms to improve the impact of growth on the poor, build their human capital, increase labor productivity, and enhance the progressivity and efficiency of tax systems as well as the targeting and impact of social protection and social assistance programs.
While they contain some core areas of analysis, priority areas are defined by multi-sectoral Bank teams in consultation with country authorities and stakeholders. The preparation process of these reports implies, in many cases, the provision of technical assistance and capacity building in areas such as poverty analysis, poverty monitoring, elaboration of poverty maps, among others. PAs also provide key inputs to the design of Bank country assistance strategies, lending operations, and other activities. In most cases these reports are produced as joint undertakings with government institutions, usually with the support of local think tanks and universities. In many cases they are done in partnership with other regional donors such as IDB, UNDP and DFID. Read more about this.