Household Asset Index
English: % of target households in the lowest Household Asset Index category
French: % des ménages cibles dans la catégorie la plus basse de l’Indice des Biens du Ménage
Czech: % cílových domácnosti v nejnižší kategorii Household Asset Indexu
What is its purpose?
The indicator measures the proportion of households owning a minimum number of the most important, pre-defined assets. Using assets as a measure of wealth has the advantage that they are easy to identify and people generally know what they own, which makes these measures more accurate than income, expenditure and consumption-based indicators.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect and analyse the required data by using the following methodology:
1) Identify 10 most important assets that demonstrate households' wealth, such as:
- housing-related assets: roofing material, walls materials, lighting source, toilet type, etc.
- consumer durables: mobile phone, radio, television, bicycle, motorbike, cooking stove, etc.
As much as possible, let your target households – not your staff – identify what these 10 most important items are (2-3 teams of field workers can identify them easily within one day spent on focus group discussions with the target households). Make sure that the pre-selected items are not too basic (so that everyone owns them) or too hard to get (so that only few people can own them).
2) Different assets often have a different value and as a result, they might indicate the different wealth of a household. For example, ownership of a motorbike is (from a financial point of view) very different from owning a radio. Therefore, assign to the more expensive assets a certain "weight" that multiplies its score – for example, if a motorbike has "weight 2," its owner will receive 2 scores during the assessment, instead of the standard one score. By using such a system, you will gain a more objective assessment of the household's situation.
3) Determine the limit for the "lowest Household Asset Index (HAI) category." For example, 0-5 scores = lowest HAI. The limit should be determined based on your team's knowledge of the target households' economic situation or based on the results of other, similar surveys.
4) During the interview, enquire about the ownership of each of the asset (for example: Does your household own a motorbike?). Encourage your data collectors to verify the data by observations.
5) Calculate the indicator's value by dividing the number of households owning less than the minimum number of pre-defined assets (i.e. being in the lowest HAI category) by the total number of surveyed households and multiplying the result by 100.
1) Assets don’t change much with time. This is generally a good thing as it makes their assessment easier. However, it also means that they might be less reactive to your intervention. So even if it is successful in increasing the households' income, it might take some time before the income is invested into new assets. Therefore, make sure that the survey is done at a time when the change in the households' assets can be observed.