'Lived Poverty' can Inform Swazi Anti-poverty Efforts

Poverty continues to be a major challenge in Swaziland, exacerbated by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the Swazi population were living in severe poverty in 2012. While reported mild economic growth and declining poverty levels (African Economic Outlook, 2014) point to some improvement in the living conditions and quality of life for the Swazi people, others have suggested that recent economic growth has not benefited all Swazis.The Afrobarometer survey, which was conducted for the first time in Swaziland in 2013, provides insights into ordinary Swazis’ experience of poverty. Using an experiential measure through a series of survey questions about how frequently people go without basic necessities of life during the course of a year, the Afrobarometer survey offers an important complement to official statistics on poverty and development.