P20 Initiative: Focus on people, not poverty lines

P20 Initiative


Kim Andr​​​eas ​​Ke​​ssler, Academic Intern, Quality Assurance and Poverty Reduction Section, ​SDC​​​​

SDG 1 aims at eradicating extreme poverty for all people. Today, the central debate is about how to achieve this and how to ensure that no one is left behind.

Development Initiatives (DI) warns that, by 2030, SDG 1 could be regarded as successfully achieved even if hundreds of millions of people were living only a cent above the poverty line. In reality, this would mean that many people have not been included in global progress and would reveal that many have been left behind. To avoid this outcome, DI developed an alternative approach: Instead of looking at specific poverty lines, they set the focus on the progress of the people who are most likely to be left behind. This group is called P20 and will be tracked by DI until 2030. P20 represents the poorest 20% globally and includes over 1.4 billion people spread across more than 100 countries.​


What is the P20 Initiative about?





Key Data

Past and projected income gap between the P20 and everyone else



Where do the people in P20 live?​


The P20 Initiative highlights the need to focus on individual people, not just countries and regions, in order to end poverty and to ensure no one is left behind.​​​​



Who are the P20?

Findings from Chronic Poverty Research Centre suggest that people in the P20 are likely to include:


Development Initiatives suggests that the P20 are not a static group. This is why individual, continuous and disaggregated data is crucial for effective policies addressing poverty eradication.​​​



Development Initiatives welcomes feedback on the P20 concept, methodology and findings.


About Development Initiatives

Founded in 1992, Development Initiatives (DI) is an independent and politically neutral authority on global finance and resources. Following the vision of a world without poverty, their mission is to ensure that decisions about the allocation of finance and resources effectively and efficiently result in an end to poverty. 




This page is a summary mainly based on a draft baseline report written by DI. It is acknowledged that the baseline report was written for consultation, not for citation.  This page was established to create awareness of the P20 Initiative and enhance feedback from SDC staff and related development agents.

Related references: