World Bank Poverty Findings Challenged

18 November 2011

A new Basic Capabilities Index (BCI), published by civil society network Social Watch, is “closer to reality than the one-dollar-a-day line of the World Bank”, according to Social Watch director Roberto Bissio. The BCI is derived from wellbeing indicators including malnutrition, child delivery and primary education. The Bank adjusted its measurement to $1.25 a day in 2008 but it was still criticised for being too low and not suitable for cross-country comparison (see Update 62). Whilst the World Bank claims that, globally, average poverty was halved between 1980 and 2005, the BCI shows very slow progress in the last 20 years, with the BCI only rising from 79.3 to 87.1 points between 1990 and 2011.