Newsletter Dialogue Series. Issue no. 2, Volume XI, July 2011

Current poverty level measures of a household may not necessarily be a good guide to the household's expected poverty in the future. The reason is be- cause a household's observed poverty level is an ex-post measure. Furthermore, poverty is a complex and changing phenomenon containing multi-dimensional and random variables. For poverty assessment studies that aim to go beyond measuring the status of poverty levels there is a critical need to go beyond a characterization of who is currently poor and who is not, to an assessment of the households' actual vulnerability. Vulnerability assessment is potentially a useful way for identifying, monitoring and evaluating household welfare over time and space.