The national-wide Integrated Household Living Conditions Assessment (IHLCA) in Myanmar was completed in 2004/2005 by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and UNDP. The assessment is based on the international standard methodology for Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS). The IHLCA survey of 2004/2005 was conducted through a sample survey of 18,660 households living in urban and rural areas of the country’s 62 districts across 17 states/divisions. The survey data provided for the first time a comprehensive perspective of living conditions including food poverty and overall poverty as well as a wide range of social and economic indictors which are documented in three major reports produced in 2007: Myanmar Poverty Profile, MDG Relevant Information and Vulnerability Relevant Information. The food poverty line is K118,402 per adult per year and the poverty line is K162,136 per adult per year. The poverty incidence (poverty head count index) is 32 % with a significant urban-rural differential, 22% for urban and 36% for rural. All qualitative and quantitative reports are translated into Myanmar version for wider dissemination.
UNDP is currently undertaking a second round of IHLCA survey in 2009/2010 to provide for an updated set of data at a 5 years interval. Meanwhile UNICEF and SiDA became a partner of the project and contributed both technical and financial assistance to be able to accomplish the project activities successfully. The IHLCA-2 will generate updated data for all the variables/indicators used in the previous phase of the project as well as additional MDG indicators; it will cover additional social development data of relevance to UNICEF and UNDP’s programme mandate.
The IHLCA project will also produce poverty estimate for Myanmar which are comparable at an international level. A first step towards this is Myanmar’s participation in the ADB administered International Comparisons Programme for Asia and the Pacific which will result in Purchasing Power Parity estimates for Myanmar, so that the international poverty line for Myanmar can be calculated.
The integrated survey will cover several domains of living conditions, including: monetary poverty (household income and expenditures) and related factors (agricultural, off farm, and urban activities, employment, access to land, credit, markets, etc.), health (health outcome as well as access, utilization and coverage of health interventions), education (access and attainment), housing conditions (including water and sanitation), gender disaggregated data, maternal and reproductive health, environmental concerns, and other dimensions of well-being relevant for Myanmar. Additionally, a series of thematic development studies are being undertaken to provide analytical knowledge base for trends in social and economic development in Myanmar.