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Basic needs approach

Wikis > Basic needs approach

The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement of absolute poverty in developing countries. Basic needs measures (BMN) attempts to define the absolute minimum resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption goods. The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income required to satisfy those needs. The cut-off point is based on the cost of a basket of goods needed to meet the basic physical needs for long-term survival. The basic needs approach was introduced by the International Labour Organization’s World Employment Conference in 1976.


Hill, Stephen, “Employment Counselling and Poverty.” In Blythe C. Shepard and Priya S. Mani (editors). Career Development Practice in Canada: Perspectives, Principles and Professionalism. Toronto: Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), 2014, p.243.

International Labour Office, “The World Employment Programme at ILO.” Online:—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/genericdocument/wcms_193047.pdf (Retrieved on May 28, 2014)

Jolly, Richard. “The World Employment Conference: The Enthronement of Basic Needs”. Development Policy Review A9 (2): 31–44, October 1976. Online:;jsessionid=BEB2B6B95ABF69ECF78300088474674B.f03t02 (Retrieved on May 28, 2014)

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