Poverty Measurement So Simple Your 5 Year Old Gets It


Not necessarily.  When it comes to measuring, understanding & overcoming poverty, we want to avoid oversimplifying what can often be truly complex issues.  However, we also want to ensure that we DO simplify things to the point where MOST people can understand them.  That’s why we always want to keep in mind the idea of a 5 year old child discussing poverty issues with their friends.  If we can put things into terms that they can understand, then we figure the rest of the world should be able to follow right along. That’s where the 7 Layer Poverty Model comes in.

7 Layer Poverty Model


When it comes to communicating a potentially complex idea like poverty, we realise that people can switch off quite quickly if they don’t follow you.  The precedent for us here is the message of “5 a day” regarding the nutritional value of fruit and vegetables in the regular human diet.  How many years did experts understand the benefits of more fruit and veg in our diets, but struggled to get their important message heard, until “5 a day” came along?

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We know it is more complicated than that underneath the surface, but at least it is simple enough that kids will talk about it and multiple stakeholders in the issue (governments, health organisations, produce suppliers and parents) can get behind it.  So let’s not kill it with complexity!  There may well be a case for adding complexity to the 7 Layer Poverty Model with subsequent enhancements, or bespoke applications to a specific set of circumstances.  However, for the sake of the broadest possible understanding & adoption among the global stakeholders in overcoming poverty – let’s keep it simple for now. Agreed?



After all, who wants to develop a model that is so complex that nobody else understands it?  You may achieve individual insight, but not collective understanding.  And for now, collective understanding is our more pressing goal.  And we have a billion people to reach. Lots of different languages to consider too. We believe that we will all overcome far more poverty, far more quickly and with far fewer resources, if we CO-ORDINATE our present efforts more effectively.  To improve co-ordination, we must first improve understanding.  To improve understanding, we must establish a common Poverty Model that is powerful enough that most stakeholders can use it, yet simple enough that most kids can understand it.

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This is why we promote the 7 Layer Poverty Model and why we ask that you would do the same. So get sharing!

And once again, we thank you for being…

One in a Billion!

2 thoughts on “Poverty Measurement So Simple Your 5 Year Old Gets It”

  1. I read through and understood the model. Its very convincing and simple to understand. I want to follow up on new developments on this model.

    1. Hi Yusuf,
      Glad to hear it. If you haven’t already done so, request to be added to our emailing list, for occasional email updates on key matters. Apart from that, add us to your list of favourite web sites and keep checking back on us from time to time. Lastly, keep sharing what you have learned with those who will listen. And thanks from us, for being One in a Billion!

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