The most useful poverty profiles are those based on functional groupings defined in relation to key livelihood features. This paper considers three groups, sometimes called the traditional poor, which are commonly identified as being poor in participatory poverty assessments: orphans, people with disabilities, and older people.
Each group may be considered a functional classification because its members share similar livelihood strategies. This paper reports the level and trend in selected Millennium Development Goal-related welfare indicators for these groups, and compares these trends with those in the population as a whole in Bulgaria, Ghana, Nicaragua, Vietnam and Andhra Pradesh.
It is generally found that these groups are relatively disadvantaged and in some respects experience less rapid progress than other population groups, suggesting the need for targeted efforts to support these disadvantaged groups to ensure progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. This paper recommends changes in data collection for greater coverage of these groups and identifies some important research questions.