A2IE Use Cases

A2IE Use Cases



Learn how the A2IE tool can help you.


How could an organization, entrepreneur or researcher use the Asset to Income Estimator (A2IE)?


Below, we provide examples of how the A2IE charts and data could be used, however many more possibilities exist.  We have provided an example for the individual, multi-country and interactive comparisons, as well as an example for users of both the A2IE and the EquityTool. If you have questions about wealth measurement or interpretation, please contact us.

Individual Country

A social entrepreneur in California has developed a low-cost water filtration device, that costs $5 per unit to manufacture. The device can filter 5000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. She wants to know if the filtration device can be sold at cost in Bangladesh, and whether it will reach the households who do not have access to clear water. Using the A2IE, she learns that the median daily household income for the poorest families (quintile 1) is $6.73.

She estimates that, assuming a high water consumption of 5 gallons per day, a family could use it for more than 3 years before it would need to be replaced. Therefore, it seems that the $5 unit price may be within reach for these families and she plans to move forward with production and distribution.

Multi-country Comparison

Due to the outbreak of a highly transmissible contagious disease in Lake Malawi region, the governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania have put hundreds of small fishing communities in lockdown, to avoid spread of the disease to the major metropolises. However, this has led to great human suffering in these communities, as households do not have savings, and are unable to procure basic necessities. A donor consortium wants to couple food aid with direct cash transfers, to reduce the need for household members to break the lockdown. The consortium wants to understand what the monthly income for these households is likely to be. Their aim is to find a single amount that could be offered to all households in the affected region to subsidize or replace average household income. From recent DHS surveys, they determine that a relatively larger proportion of households are in the poorest two quintiles in the affected regions. Using the A2IE multi-country comparison, they determine that in the 2nd quintile, Malawians have an average income of $28/month, Mozambiquans of $27/month, and Tanzanians of $42/month. They determine that they will make cash transfers of $30/person/month.

Interactive Comparison

To increase safe deliveries among historically disadvantaged people, and supplement limited government availability, a social marketer wants to understand how to make hospital deliveries both accessible to families in the poorest two quintiles, while also making services financially sustainable. She is trying to visualize what the different wealth distributions in Central American countries mean in terms of having the ability to pay for a hospital delivery in a new private hospital chain in the region, where the base charge is $200. Her team estimates that the fee should be no more than 1/3 of the average monthly household income for a household to be able to visit the hospital for delivery. Using the interactive A2IE tool, she is able to see that in El Salvador, households starting in the 2nd quintile would be potential clients as the median household income is $635. Whereas, if they continue to charge $200 for delivery in Honduras, their target population would be households starting in the 3rd quintile, where median monthly household income is $595. This means that the potential market is smaller in Honduras under this pricing scheme, and they may need to rethink their pricing strategies.

EquityTool and A2IE

A Pakistani school run by a religious community wants to create tuition levels which are equitable, by having each household pay approximately the same proportion of their income on school fees. In order to implement this tuition fee structure, the school uses the 12 question EquityTool to determine what wealth quintile each household is likely to be in. Coincidentally, the EquityTool for Pakistan asks about presence of a computer in the household, so the school is able to loan computers to students who don’t have one. After determining household quintiles, the school used the A2IE country chart to determine the average individual monthly income for each quintile, and set the following tuition rates at 80% of an individual’s monthly income for primary school students.


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