It is very difficult to compare the specific tools and methodologies used for poverty monitoring (PM) with those used for vulnerability monitoring (VM), as they are so diverse. However, it is possible to make some general observations in relation to differences between the 2 broad approaches:
- In essence, the 2 approaches are monitoring different concepts. Poverty can be seen as a defined state. In contrast, vulnerability is often viewed as a dynamic process. Vulnerability monitoring is therefore likely to entail the use of different, and probably a broader range of, indicators than poverty monitoring.
- Poverty is measured historically, whereas vulnerability is an assessment of the likelihood of poverty (or food insecurity, flooding etc.) at some stage in the near future.
- PM primarily uses quantitative research methods, whereas some researchers argue that VM is more suited to incorporating qualitative methods.
- PM occurs within the defined framework of a PRSP, or equivalent. VM does not.
Nevertheless, there are similarities between PM and VM, and some experts do advocate for the approaches to be more combined. They suggest, for example, that PM could be improved by ‘taking a vulnerability approach’, incorporating indicators that show the dynamic processes and relational aspects of poverty.