Justifying Aspects of Power, Violence & Justice in API (Absolute Poverty Index) of Transitional Societies

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Yashwant DESHMUKH, CVoter Foundation, India
The ideas on studying Poverty or “Extreme” poverty by mapping “Development” have been challenged by looking “Beyond GDP”. Particularly when the research colleagues are trying to map give objectively what is considered subjective. Particularly aspects “Power, Violence & Justice”, where the “Objective” numbers are limited to counting “Number of Incidences” in these critical areas. Covering these aspects in the “Framework” of Poverty become more critical, particularly when the “framework” of Poverty is created by those who are looking at extreme poverty from a distance, rather than by those who are “living” the extreme poverty. This took us on a journey across poorest of the poor regions in India and meeting those who were not only observing the extreme poverty, but also those who were living in extreme poverty.

Most of our interaction with the people living in extreme poverty challenged the basic definition of the very concept of poverty to start with. The framework excludes “Power, Violence & Justice”. We realized that while the World is trying to map the Poverty in concrete objective numbers, the concept of poverty goes beyond those numbers into a subjective territory which defies the textbook learning of Poverty. Going beyond the “Objective Indicators” there was a series of “Subjective Indicators” which is generally never mapped, more so because it’s never considered as quantifiable empirical data. Even the construct of “Objective Indicators” to define Poverty falls flat when working on Extreme Poverty. Based on 2016 findings from the Pilot ‘Globescan/CVoter Survey of Extreme Poverty’ in India, we developed an Absolute Poverty Index using subjective and objective measures of well-being, including the critical aspects of Power, Violence & Justice. These themes are compared and analyzed in the composite constructs of Safety, Dignity & Self-esteem, Gender equation, Equal opportunity and last but not the least, Optimism.