Reframing “Bottom of the Pyramid”

A report, by Pablo Sanchez of Roots for Sustainability and Fernando Casado Cañeque of Center of Development Alliances, calls for reframing “bottom of the pyramid” (BoP) to consider access to resources and basic amenities, and not just income. They argue that research and work that measures BoP by only economic factors such as income misses an opportunity for more holistic data and analysis by also considering access to goods and amenities and social factors.

As the authors explain in their report:

“Most of the research and work done in the field of the BoP assumes that poverty is mainly an economic problem. In fact, the BoP has been repeatedly defined as the socioeconomic demographic segment living below $ 3,260 a year in purchasing power parity terms. This economic conception restricts the idea of poverty to the consumption of a certain basket of goods and services for reaching a minimal physiological well-being.

However, apart from not having access to certain goods or lacking income, poverty also has social, political, emotional, and even cultural aspects. Therefore, the basic needs approach offers a richer basis for analysing the multidimensionality of poverty, understanding its causes and the situation of the poor, and allowing the formulation policies that aim to alleviate its implications directly.”

They explain that this new, multidimensional framework for BoP would allow for the development of new and more inclusive business models.

It’s an interesting concept, if not only for the point of changing the connotation and significance of an oft-used term to adjust perspectives and approaches. You can learn more in this NextBillion article.

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