A person is classified to be miserable when experiencing "capability deprivation," the condition where a person deprived of freedom (Sen, 1999). Poverty is a condition where there is an inability to meet basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, and health. In this globalization era, developing countries cannot have benefited from the economic increase in the world. The spectacular growth in income per capita countries in the world during the 20th century can not reduce the gap between rich and developing countries. Variation in income per capita and welfare between countries is related to differences in human capital, physical capital and technology of the countries. The difference in the quality of education, the availability of infrastructure and machinery, the use of new technologies as well as the allocation of resources between activities with different productivity boils down to the different income between countries, especially between poor and rich countries. This is way Ehrentreich and Hoshschild (2002) write that "over the last thirty years, as the rich countries have grown much richer, the poor countries have become-in both absolute and relative terms-poorer". Welfare differences between the different countries reflect the actual state of growth as well as the presence of continuous growth in other countries. 

Robeyns (2005) discuss three evaluative approaches that can be used to assess well-being, poverty, and inequality in the context of globalization and global justice. These approaches are income metric (metric money measures), resources (classifying resources), and the approaches. Poverty rate with money-metric welfare represents a threshold which is below the threshold of a household or individual is considered "poor". World Bank makes the absolute poverty line US $ 1 and US $ 2 purchasing power parity per day to compare poverty across countries/regions, and its development according to the time to assess the progress made in the fight against poverty at the global level international (Warlich, 2019) . Purchasing power parity conversion rate is the number of currency unit spent to buy several goods and services in which the same number can be purchased for $ 1 in the United States. This conversion rate is calculated based on the price and quantity in each country were collected in a survey is usually conducted every five years. Chen and Ravallion (2001) adjust world poverty by using the poverty line of US $ 1 a day. 

Classifying resources is a measurement of poverty with five different accounts of resources: GNP per capita; individual disposable income; individual entitlement of material goods; Dworkinian resources; and Rawlsian social primary goods. In this measurement, people classified as weak when they can not reach the standard of this assessment.

The last approaches are capability approaches, which considers that the development should be seen as an expansion of human capabilities (human capabilities), rather than maximize the usefulness (utility) or proxy on usability, namely revenue (Sen, 1999). This approach rejects the concept of 'monetary approach' and is more focused on indicators of freedom to support the values of life itself. Poverty is defined as a deprivation of the ability or failure of individuals to achieve necessary capabilities. Basic capabilities are the capability to maximize the functions of the individual in order to obtain the level of adequacy of life. The indicators used in this approach are life expectancy, health, resilience body, feeling (imagination), emotional, and affiliation (social interaction, protection from discrimination).

The consequences of the different measurement between these three methods to measure poverty will impact on the assessment of poverty and maybe can not compare situation among countries (because use a different unit of measurement). Based on the literature, there are no indicators have right and appropriate for use to describe the conditions of poverty that can be generalized and standard for all communities, not only from the aspect of economic life but also of other aspects, such as social, legal and political. The determination of the poverty line can be influenced by human perception of basic needs required, the position of humans in the environment and live humanely. 

Written by: Inayah Hidayati - Research Center for Population LIPI


Ehrenreich, Barbara, and Arlie Russel Hochschild. 2002. In Global Woman : Nannies, Maids, and Sex Worker in the New Economy. London : Granta Books. 

Robeyns, I. 2005. Assessing global poverty and inequality: income, resources and capabilities. Metaphilosophies 36(1-2), p. 31-49. 

Warlich, Ali. (2019, August 22). Conflict Fuels Poverty in Mali. https://borgenproject.org/conflict-in-mali-fuels-poverty-and-hunger/. 

Sen, Amartya. 1999. Commodities and capabilities. OUP Catalogue.

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