1) By including the set of country-specific questions in your health, WASH, agriculture or any other survey, you will be able to disaggregate the collected data by wealth. For example, you will be able to see whether the quality of diet consumed by children from the poorest households (i.e. from the bottom wealth quintile) significantly differs from the average quality of children’s diets in general.
2) EquityTool can also be used to show you and your donors the extent to which you target poor households (the higher the indicator’s value, the higher is the proportion of the project beneficiaries that are actually poor).
3) EquityTool is based on collecting information about the respondents’ assets. However, assets do not change much over short time. For example, if a household increases its income, it may not necessarily invest it into one of the surveyed assets. This means that this indicator might be less reactive to your intervention. Therefore, if you need to measure changes in the households’ economic status, use this indicator only if:
- your intervention has a strong income/assets-generation focus; and
- it is implemented over a longer period of time (at least 2-3 years), so that you can record any changes in the households’ ownership of assets
Otherwise, you risk that this indicator will not be able to show the recorded positive changes, even if your project is successful.
4) EquityTool shows you how your target households compare to the rest of the country (it is also possible to have a comparison to the urban population only – see here). The data for the “rest of the country” is gained from the most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), or other nationally representative survey. The DHS usually takes place about once in five years, and EquityTool’s versions are updated as new DHS datasets are released. This allows users to benchmark their results to a more recent national population.
Sometimes, a user may wish to conduct a follow-up survey to a baseline that used a previous version of an EquityTool, and will need to decide which benchmark population (i.e. EquityTool version) to use:
- i) The version used at baseline (i.e. the same benchmark population used at baseline) – if your main aim is to assess the change in wealth from baseline, use the version that was used during the baseline survey; however, since wealth generally increases over time, comparing the respondents using an old benchmark might result in them appearing wealthier than they are. If you use this option, document the original baseline calculations for later replication or contact Metrics for Management to access the EquityTool’s version that was used for the baseline survey.
- ii) The latest version – you will be comparing the current wealth of your target households against the current benchmarks of wealth (i.e. not against benchmarks that were valid several years ago); if you use this option, you can always use the latest benchmarks available on the EquityTool’s website.
5) As much as possible, correlate the data with the data gained from measuring households’ indebtedness. This will show you, for example, whether households that appear wealthy (based on the type of assets they own) are or are not heavily indebted.
6) When interpreting the findings, consider the context in which the data was collected (e.g. poor vs. better-off areas; areas nearby larger towns vs. remote areas).
Take advantage of additional tips and guidance provided on EquityTool’s website.