A Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA), is an iterative, participatory research process that seeks to understand poverty in its local, social, institutional, and political contexts, incorporating the perspectives of a range of stakeholders and involving them directly in planning follow-up action . PPAs can be defined as an instrument for including poor people's views in the analysis of poverty and the formulation of strategies to reduce it through public policy.
While the most important stakeholders involved in the research process are poor men and women, PPAs can also include decision makers from all levels of government, civil society, and the local elite in order to take into account different interests and perspectives and increase local capacity and commitment to follow-up action. Because PPAs address national policy, micro-level data are collected from a large number of communities in order to discern patterns across social groups and geographic areas.
Several tools and methodologies can be used as part of a PPA such as well being ranking or venn diagramming.