The Individual Deprivation Measure

The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is a new, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty. It has been developed to assess deprivation at the individual level and overcome the limitations of current approaches to poverty measurement.

The four-year IDM program involves collecting additional IDM data, developing the IT to facilitate collection and use, developing curriculum, and a communications outreach to build knowledge.

By 2020 the IDM will be ready for global use, and as a measure that encompasses more about the individual, it will be a tool for tracking how development is changing the lives of the world’s most deprived.

IWDA is deeply proud of the measure, it represents the single largest investment of public funds IWDA has made towards a project. We believe the IDM will revolutionise global poverty measurement and are proud to work alongside the Australian National University and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver the measure by 2020.



Image of the Individual Deprivation Measure logo



Current data limitations

Right now, the world measures the poverty of households. This means we can’t adequately see the circumstances of individuals living within those households, creating an incomplete picture of global inequality. For women, this means we are missing critical information about their lives.

Current measures don’t put the views of women and men experiencing poverty at the centre of poverty measurement, and we can’t tell how gender, age, disability and ethnicity affect the poverty of an individual.

The Individual Deprivation Measure will address these limitations.

Visit the IDM website to find out more.


The IDM is a new tool that measures the poverty of individuals, not just households and the difference in how people of different genders experience poverty.

The IDM recognises that escaping poverty requires more than just money. This is why it assesses 15 key areas of life for each individual: food, water, shelter, health, education, energy/fuel, sanitation, relationships, clothing, violence, family planning, environment, voice, time-use and work.

What makes the IDM different?

Illustrated image of four people

By assessing poverty at the individual level, the IDM enables accurate disaggregation of data by sex, age, disability, ethnicity, religion, geographic location and more.

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Gender sensitive

The IDM can be sex-disaggregated across 15 dimensions of life relevant to women and men experiencing poverty, generating a gender-sensitive measure.

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The IDM considers a wide range of factors as relevant to measuring poverty, assessing 15 key economic and social dimensions, including some especially important for revealing gender disparity (voice in the community, time-use, family planning and personal relationships).

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Because the IDM collects data from each individual, it can reveal the impact of intersecting deprivations and inform targeting of deprivations impacting particular populations.

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The IDM provides insight into the intensity of an individual’s poverty. Knowing how poor individuals are, in what dimensions, matters for policy and programming, and assessing the effectiveness of action.

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Policy relevant

The IDM can help governments and organisations target poverty more effectively. It can also help them measure success or failure, revealing what aspects of poverty are changing, by how much and for whom.

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Grounded in participation

The IDM is the first poverty measure in the world based on the views of women and men with lived experience of poverty. The dimensions were selected based on what they prioritised as important to measure.

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IDM 2 Page Infographic

IDM Technical Update

IDM CSW63 Brief

IDM Fiji Brief

IDM Fiji Report