Indonesia’s All-Time Low Poverty Rate Report under Criticism

Center for Welfare Studies executive director Ah Maftuchan recently challenged the data backing Finance Minister Sri Mulyani’s claim that Indonesia’s poverty line has fallen under 10 percent or 9.82 percent to be precise. 

Ah Maftuchan views that the data provided by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) is severely one dimensional and only sees the issue of poverty from an economic standpoint, namely the per capita expense. 

“We must create a relative poverty rate measurement that is dynamic and refers to a multi-dimensional standard quality of life,” as quoted from Maftuchan’s official press release on Thursday, July 19.

As previously reported, the BPS released Indonesia’s poverty rate as of March 2018, which was the lowest ever recorded at 9.82 percent, an improvement from 10.12 percent recorded in September 2017. The agency’s data suggests that 633,200 citizens both from urban environments and rural areas that managed to escape poverty. 

Maftuchan suggests that the poverty indicator should have viewed the issue dynamically and not just limited to an average indicator of monthly expenses per capita. The data, Maftuchan went on, should include factors such as health, education, housing, access towards clean water and energy sources. 

He claims that the use of a multi-dimensional indicator would drastically change the outcome of Indonesia’s poverty rate. Maftuchan gave an example of the 2012-2014 multi-dimension poverty index that calculated by the Center for Welfare Studies showing that 29.7 percent of people were still below the poverty line.

Maftuchan assessed that a multi-dimensional approach towards calculating poverty would greatly help the Indonesian government to view the reality of poverty in the field. 


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