The availability and timeliness of data at the urban level, particularly for informal settlements, is limited. In addition, current indicators can underestimate the extent of urban poverty. Poverty lines based on the cost of basic needs – often a combination of food and non-food essentials – tend to underestimate the higher costs of housing, transport and other services in urban areas. Other multi-dimensional indicators that go beyond income to reflect wider aspects of well-being have also been criticised for failing to capture key aspects of urban poverty, such as the quality of public service provision, and access to adequate housing.
Paula Lucci and Tanvi Bhatkal