MEASURE

Evidence-based Measures of Empowerment for Research on Gender Equality

Measure: The Individual Deprivation Measure

The Individual Deprivation Measure is a multi-item measure of individual experience of poverty, separated into fifteen dimensions: Food/Nutrition, Water, Shelter, Health Care/Health, Education, Energy/Cooking Fuel, Sanitation, Family Relations, Clothing/Personal Care, Violence, Family Planning, Environment, Voice, Time-use, Work. Some dimensions have multiple indicators, while some have a single indicator. The estimated time for administration is about one hour.

ITEMS:

Dimension: Food/Nutrition

Indicator: Hunger

In the past 4 weeks, was there ever no food for you to eat because of lack of resources to get food? (If ‘yes’) How often did this happen?
In the past 4 weeks, did you go to sleep at night hungry because there was not enough food? (If ‘yes’) How often did this happen?
In the past 4 weeks, did you go a whole day and night without eating because there was not enough food? (If ‘yes’) How often did this happen in the past 4 weeks?

Response Options:
Never
Rarely = once or twice
Sometimes = 3-10 times
Frequently = more than ten times.

Scoring Procedure:
Initial responses for each question receive a score of 0 for never, 1 for rarely or sometimes, and 2 for frequently. The scores are then summed to create a continuous scale score. Final scores indicate individual deprivation with relation to hunger from levels 1-5:
Level 1 = Severe hunger (cumulative score of 5 or 6)
Level 2 = Moderate hunger (cumulative score of 3 or 4)
Level 3 = Some hunger (cumulative score of 2)
Level 4 = Little hunger (cumulative score of 1)
Level 5 = No hunger (cumulative score of 0)

Dimension: Water

Indicator 1: Water source—distance and improvement

What is the main source of drinking water for members of your household? How long does it take to reach the watersource from your dwelling (one way)?

Response Options:
Level 1 = No improved source, more than 30 minutes from home
Level 2 = No improved source, 30 minutes or less from home
Level 3 = Improved source, more than 30 minutes from home
Level 4 = Improved source, 30 minutes or less from home
Level 5 = Improved source in dwelling

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to access to a water source.

Indicator 2: Water quantity

How often do you have enough water to meet all your personal needs—including drinking, washing, and cooking?

Response Options:
Level 1 = Never
Level 2 = Rarely (1-2 days per week)
Level 3 = Sometimes (3-4 days per week)
Level 4 = Often (5-6 days per week)
Level 5 = Always

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to access to adequate amounts of water for personal needs.
Additional question:
Do you treat your water in any way to make it safer to drink? (If ‘yes’) What do you usually do to the water to make it safer? (Filter, Iodine, chlorine or other mineral treatment, Solar water disinfection technique (SODIS), Boil, Other)

Dimension: Shelter

Indicator 1: Housing materials and condition of the dwelling

The interviewer notes the material used to construct the dwelling, such as the wall material, roof material, flooring material, and the general condition of the home.

Response Options:
Open-ended

Scoring Procedure:
A score is determined for the walls, floor, and ceiling according to the following. Note: Descriptions of Natural, Rudimentary, and Finished follow DHS guidelines:
0 = Natural
1 = Rudimentary
2 = Finished
The condition of the dwelling is scored as follows:
1 = Very bad condition
2 = Poor condition, a lot of damage
3 = Moderate condition
4 = Good condition, minor wear and tear
5 = Excellent condition
A final score indicates level of individual deprivation with relation to shelter:
Level 1 = Materials 0 to 2
Level 2 = Materials 3-4, or 5, dwelling is in poor or very poor condition
Level 3 = Materials 5, and dwelling is in moderate condition, or materials 6 and dwelling is in poor or very poor condition
Level 4 = Materials 6, and state of dwelling is moderate
Level 5 = Materials 6, and dwelling is in good condition

Indicator 2: Homelessness Questions

In the last year, did you ever sleep outdoors, in public places such as bus or railway stations, or in temporary shelters provided by government or non-government organizations, because you did not have access to suitable shelter of your own?
Approximately how many nights in the last year did you sleep in the conditions described in the previous question? (Approximate number of nights)
Note: Homelessness questions do not affect a respondent’s score in the Shelter Dimension, unless she has been homeless for seven or more days in the past year. Homelessness may be used as a substitute indicator, replacing housing materials/condition, and the respondent scores 1 out of 5 for this dimension.

Dimension: Health/health care

Indicator 1: Health status

When was the last time you had a significant illness or injury? Did this illness or injury make it impossible or very difficult to perform your usual paid or unpaid activity? How long was it difficult or impossible for you to perform your usual paid or unpaid activity because of your illness or injury?

Response Options:
Level 1 = More than 2 weeks
Level 2 = 1-2 weeks
Level 4 = Less than 1 week
Level 5 = No problems (last illness more than one year ago or last illness did not make it difficult or impossible to perform usual activity)

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to personal health status.

Indicator 2: Health care access

The last time you had an illness or injury that needed health care, did you receive this care?
From whom did you receive health care?

Response Options:
Level 1 = No treatment or treatment from a traditional healer
Level 3 = treatment from a community health worker, nurse or midwife
Level 5 = Treatment from a doctor, dentist, physiotherapist or chiropractor

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to health care access.

Indicator 3: Health care quality

Were there any significant problems with any of the following: The skill of the practitioner, the cleanliness of the treatment facilities, the availability of prescribed drugs, the level of respect with which you were treated, including the way in which issues were explained to you, the waiting time, the location of the health care provider?

Response Options:
Yes
No

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Three or more significant problems
Level 2 = Two significant problems
Level 3 = One significant problem
Level 5 = No problems

Additional questions (for respondents who are not seeking medical care even though their illness required it): What was the main reason that you did not seek medical care?

Women who are pregnant at the time of the survey or within the previous three years may be asked a series of questions about the number of pre-natal visits (made and/or planned), the provider of pre-natal care (traditional birth attendant, nurse, midwife, doctor) and where they gave birth or plan to give birth (hospital, community health facility, at home). Women who gave birth as a result of a pregnancy within the last three years may also be asked who attended them during the birth.

Pregnancy scoring:
Pre-natal:
1 = No visits
2 = One or two visits to a traditional birth attendant
3 = Three or more visits to a traditional birth attendant or one visit to a nurse, midwife or doctor 4 = Two visits to a nurse, midwife or doctor
5 = Three or more visits to a nurse, midwife or doctor
Birth—currently pregnant (intended place of birth):
1 = At home
3 = In a community health facility
5 = In hospital
Birth—pregnant within last three years:
1 = No birth attendant
2 = Traditional birth attendant
3 = Attended by a nurse, midwife or doctor at home
4 = Attended by a nurse, midwife or doctor in a community health facility
5 = Attended by a nurse, midwife or doctor in hospital
Note: For women currently pregnant or pregnant within the last three years, a score for pre-natal care and birth attendance is calculated by averaging the two scores. This score substitutes for general health care access for this group of respondents. The overall health dimension score for these respondents is then calculated by averaging the health status and the pregnancy pre-natal care/birth attendance scores.

Dimension: Education

Indicator 1: Completed schooling

*Have you ever attended school?
How many years were you in formal schooling?
What is the highest education level you completed?

Response Options:
*Yes or No
Open-ended

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Little or no school
Level 2 = Partial primary
Level 3 = Completed primary
Level 4 = Some secondary
Level 5 = Completed secondary or higher

Indicator 2: Competence: Reading, writing, and arithmetic

Are you able to read at all? (If ‘yes’) Please read the following sentences aloud to me.
Are you able to write at all? (If ‘yes’) Please write two sentences about what you did yesterday.
Are you able to do some arithmetic? (If ‘yes’ Please perform the following calculations (addition & subtraction; multiplication & division).
Note: For the reading exercise, the individual was instructed to read a short paragraph and then the interviewer determined the respondent’s reading level. For the writing exercise, the individual wrote two sentences about what she did the day before. For the numeracy exercise, the individual was asked to write the answer for a simple math problem (e.g., 3+7-2+5=?) and a more difficult problem (e.g. (14×5) ÷2 = ?).

Response Options:
Completion of designated exercise

Scoring Procedure:
Reading Scores:
Level 1 = Not able to read (says can’t read, or reading competence is very limited)
Level 3 = Basic skills (able to read only parts of the sentences)
Level 5 = Advanced skills (able to read both sentences competently)
Writing Scores:
Level 1 = Not able to write (either does not write sentence, or sentence is illegible or does not make sense)
Level 3 = Basic writing skills (legible and makes sense, but poor grammar and spelling)
Level 5 = Advanced writing skills (legible, makes sense, good grammar and spelling)
Arithmetic Scores:
Level 1 = Not able to do math, or both answers incorrect
Level 3 = Correctly answers one of the two problems
Level 5 = Correctly answers both problems
Reading, writing and arithmetic scores are averaged to calculate a reading/writing/arithmetic score. The Education Dimension score is the average of the schooling and reading/writing/arithmetic scores.

Dimension: Energy

Indicator 1: Cooking fuel/smoke exposure

What is the primary source of cooking fuel in this household? Do you have a secondary source of cooking fuel that you use regularly?
(If ‘yes’) What is your secondary source of cooking fuel?
How much time on average do you spend each day exposed to smoke and fumes from the burning of cooking and/or heating fuel?
Do you experience any health problems, such as headaches, dizziness or difficulty in breathing from exposure to the smoke and fumes from your cooking and/or heating fuel? (If ‘yes’) How would you rate these problems (severe, moderate, minor)?
Where a secondary cooking fuel is regularly used, scores are generated for both primary and secondary cooking fuels. An overall cooking fuel/ smoke exposure score is calculated by averaging the two scores.

Response Options:
Open-ended

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Dirty fuel (charcoal, firewood, animal dung, crop residue)
Level 3 = Clean fuel (kerosene, gas, electricity), but health problems from smoke exposure
Level 5 = Clean fuel (kerosene, gas, or electricity), and no health problems from smoke exposure
Additional questions:
What type of cooking stove is usually used in your house?
Where is cooking usually done?

Indicator 2: Electricity (household indicator)

*Does your dwelling have access to electricity?
Approximately how many hours per day on average does your dwelling have electricity?

Response Options:
*Yes or No
Open-ended

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = No access
Level 2 = Up to 4.9 hours
Level 3 = -9.9 hours
Level 4 = 10-19.9 hours
Level 5 = 20 or more hours per day

Dimension: Toilet

Indicator 1: Primary toilet use

What toilet facilities do you normally use when you are at home?

Response Options:
1 = Bush, field or river
2 = Bucket or other container, periodically removed from dwelling
3 = Pit latrine without slab
4 = Pit latrine with slab
5 = Ventilated improved pit latrine
6 = Public flush toilet
7 = Private flush toilet

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Not improved (1 and 2 above)
Level 2 = Pit latrine without slab (3 above)
Level 3 = Improved shared pit or latrine (4, 5 above)
Level 4 = Public flushing toilet (6 above)
Level 5 = Private flushing toilet (7 above)

Indicator 2: Secondary toilet use

Do you regularly use a second toilet facility (for example at your workplace or where you spend time outside the house during the day)?
If ‘yes’ What is the second most common toilet facility that you use?

Response Options:
1 = Bush, field or river
2 = Bucket or other container, periodically removed from dwelling
3 = Pit latrine without slab
4 = Pit latrine with slab
5 = Ventilated improved pit latrine
6 = Public flush toilet
7 = Private flush toilet

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Not improved (1 and 2 above)
Level 2 = Pit latrine without slab (3 above)
Level 3 = Improved shared pit or latrine (4, 5 above)
Level 4 = Public flushing toilet (6 above)
Level 5 = Private flushing toilet (7 above)
Note: If a secondary toilet is typically used, the Toilet Dimension score is the average of the primary and secondary scores. If not, the dimension score is the primary toilet score.

Dimension: Decision-making and personal support

Indicator 1: Control over decision-making

In general, how much control do you have over personal decisions that have a major impact on your life, such as whether you will go out of the house into the community, with whom you will associate outside of your household, or when and from whom to seek health care for yourself?

Response Options:
Level 1 = No Control
Level 2 = Very Little Control
Level 3 = Some Control
Level 4 = A Fair Amount of Control
Level 5 = Full control

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to control over decision-making.

Indicator 2: Personal support

If you were in trouble, how much support could you count on from friends and family?

Response Options:
Level 1 = No Support
Level 2 = Very Little Support
Level 3 = Some Support
Level 4 = A fair amount of support
Level 5 = All the support that I need

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to personal support.

Dimension: Clothing and personal care

Indicator 1: Protection from the elements

To what extent does your clothing and footwear protect you from the weather and from hazards in your environment, such as broken glass where you walk?

Response Options:
Level 1 = No protection
Level 2 = Very little protection
Level 3 = Some protection
Level 4 = A fair amount of protection
Level 5 = Good protection

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to clothing and personal care.

Indicator 2: Personal care/presentation in public

To what extent are you able to present yourself in public, in terms of clothing, body odour and grooming, in a way that is acceptable by the standards of your community?

Response Options:
Level 1 = Never
Level 2 = Rarely
Level 3 = Sometimes
Level 4 = Often
Level 5 = Always

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to personal care and presentation in public.

Dimension: Violence

Indicator: Freedom from violence

May I ask you some questions about your experience of violence? (If ‘yes’, the following questions are asked. If ‘no’, the interviewer moves to the next module.)
In the past year, did you experience being hit, slapped, shoved, pushed, punched, or kicked by anyone?
In the past year, did you experience being beaten, stabbed, burnt, or otherwise attacked with a weapon, such as a bottle, knife, gun, club, hot liquid, or explosive device?
In the past year, did anyone use physical force of threats to make you or try to make you have sexual intercourse or perform other sexual acts against your will?
If you answered yes to any of the preceding questions, were you subject to any of the violent events more than once?
In the past year, did anyone regularly insult, belittle or humiliate you, make you feel bad about yourself, or try to intimidate you (for example by yelling or smashing things)?
In the next 12 months, do you think it is likely that you will be subject to any of the violent events described in the previous questions? (yes or no)

Response Options:
Yes
No

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Multiple violent incidents
Level 2 = One violent incident
Level 3 = No violent incidents, but perceived risk
Level 5 = No violent incidents, and no perceived future risk

Dimension: Family planning

Indicator 1: Access to contraception

Do you or your partner have ready access to any types of contraception? (If ‘yes’) Which methods do you or your partner have ready access to?

Response Options:
Open-ended

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = No options
Level 3 = One safe option
Level 5 = More than one safe option

Indicator 2: Use of contraception

To what extent, if at all, do you face barriers to using the contraceptive methods you listed above to prevent, limit or space pregnancies for example from your family, from a partner, or from religious authorities?
Note: This indicator should not be asked of females outside of reproductive age. Some other respondents may not consider contraception access to apply to their current life circumstances. Relevant answer coding is used in this case.

Response Options:
Level 1 = Face severe barriers
Level 3 = Face some barriers
Level 5 = Face no barriers

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to family planning.

Dimension: Environment

Indicator: Environmental problems

Are any of the following a significant problem for you, either at or near home or at other:

Response Options:
1 = Places where you spend a lot of time?
2 = Large amounts of rubbish or a waste disposal site
3 = Open sewage
4 = Air pollution (air that smells bad or makes your eyes or throat sting)
5 = Pools of water where mosquitoes or other disease carrying insects breed
6 = Stores of unsecured agricultural or industrial chemicals and waste
7 = Heavy vehicle traffic for much of the day
8 = High levels of noise other than from vehicle traffic for much of the day
9 = Any other significant environmental hazard

Scoring Procedure:
1 = More than two environmental problems
2 = Two environmental problems
3 = One environmental problem
5 = Zero environmental problems

Dimension: Voice in the community

Indicator 1: Ability to participate in community decision-making

To what extent are you able to raise issues in your community that you feel strongly about, such as crime in the community, the way government programs are implemented or the way you or members of your family are treated at work or by other community members?

Response Options:
Level 1 = Not at all
Level 2 = With great difficulty
Level 3 = With some difficulty
Level 4 = Fairly easily
Level 5 = Very easily

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to ability to participate in community decision-making.

Indicator 2: Ability to change your community

To what extent do you think that people like you can change things in their community if they want to?

Response Options:
Level 1 = Not at all
Level 2 = With great difficulty
Level 3 = With some difficulty
Level 4 = Fairly easily
Level 5 = Very easily

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to ability to change the individual’s community.

Dimension: Time-use/labor burden

Indicator: Labor burden as percentage of 24 hours

On the basis of a 24-hour diary of activities completed for the previous day, the interviewer calculates the hours of paid and unpaid work and formal study undertaken by the participant Secondary work/study time (i.e., activities carried out while undertaking a primary activity, such as keeping an eye on children while enjoying leisure) is included in scoring this dimension.

Response Options:
Open-ended (24-hour diary of yesterday’s activities)

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = 16 hours or more of paid and/or unpaid work and/or formal study
Level 2 = 14-15.9 hours
Level 3 = 12-13.9 hours
Level 4 = 10-11.9 hours
Level 5 = Less than 10 hours

Dimension: Paid and unpaid work: Risk and respect

Indicator 1: Risk (paid and unpaid work)

Have you suffered any injury, illness, disability, or other physical or mental harm from your paid (unpaid) work in the last 12 months?
If yes, what effect did this injury, illness or other harm have on you?
Are you concerned that your paid/unpaid work will cause you physical or mental harm in the future?
Note: These questions are asked separately about paid and unpaid work, as individuals may have very different experiences in each kind of work.

Response Options:
Question 1:
Yes or No
Question 2:
A long-term effect that prevents you from working at all
A long-term effect so that you can’t continue to perform the same work
A long-term effect but you are able to carry on in the same work
No longterm effect
Question 3:
Very concerned
Somewhat concerned
Not very concerned
Not concerned at all

Scoring Procedure:
Level 1 = Extremely dangerous paid/unpaid work (injured with long-term effect preventing any work)
Level 2 = Very dangerous paid/unpaid work (injured with long- term effect preventing the same work as before)
Level 3 = Somewhat dangerous paid/unpaid work (injured, can do the same work as before but very concerned about future harm)
Level 4 = Slightly dangerous paid/unpaid work (injured but no long-term effect, little or no future concern)
Level 5 = Not dangerous paid work (no injury, no perceived risk)

Indicator 2: Status (paid and unpaid work)

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
Members of my community respect the paid unpaid work I do (that is, my job is a respected one).
I am treated with respect when I do paid/ unpaid work (this includes being free from physical and verbal abuse or demeaning treatment while working)

Response Options:
Level 1 = Extremely disrespected (strongly disagree)
Level 2 = Somewhat disrespected (disagree)
Level 4 = Not disrespected (agree)
Level 5 = Strongly respected (strongly agree)

Scoring Procedure:
Levels 1-5 indicate individual deprivation with relation to status and respect (paid and unpaid work).
Note: The score for this indicator is the average of the scores for the degree of respect indicated for each item.
Additional question:
What is the main kind of paid/unpaid work that you regularly do?

PSYCHOMETRIC
SCORE

CITATION
FREQUENCY

Categories

Female
Male
Philippines

Scoring Procedures:

For each indicator, level 1 is classified as severely deprived, level 2 as very deprived, level 3 as somewhat deprived, level 4 as slightly deprived, and level 5 or above as adequate for a minimally decent life. For the dimensions that have multiple indicators, indicator scores are averaged. For some indicators, there is not a score for each possible level (for example, only levels 1, 2, 4, and 5 are options for the health status indicator). This is due to aspects of that specific indicator not easily fitting into 5 categories.

Primary Citation: Wisor, S., Bessell, S., Castillo, F., Crawford, J., Donaghue, K., Hunt, J., … & Pogge, T. (2014). The individual deprivation measure: A gender-sensitive approach to poverty measurement. Melbourne: The International Women’s Development Agency.