Unsatisfied Basic Needs Method {short description of image}{short description of image}
The application of the unsatisfied basic needs method in the context of the present study entailed the following steps:

* Specification of those basic needs where lack of satisfaction is considered to be an indicator of deprivation or poor living conditions;
* choice of indicators for measuring the extent to which these needs are satisfied;
* definition of a threshold for each indicator, below which the level would denote deprivation;
* specification of a measurement scale for each indicator, to be used as a basis for giving a score to the household with respect to the indicator in question;
* construction of an index for measuring the extent of satisfaction of household needs with respect to each and all fields, by utilizing household - specific indicators scores;
* definition of a classification that divides households into categories according to the overall index score, and calculating the proportion of households at each degree of satisfaction; and,
* studying the geographical and social distribution for each of these categories, and analyzing their distinctive characteristics.

1. Application of the methodology

The unsatisfied basic needs methodology was applied to the data obtained from the Population and Housing Survey. The questionnaire was reviewed to determine which variables are relevant to the measurement of living conditions. In the absence of data on income and expenditure, and on health indicators, a set of 11 indicators was selected and grouped into four fields as follows:

One) Housing and related indicators: number of rooms and built area per person, and principal means of heating.

Two) Water and sewerage indicators: connection to the water supply network, principal source of potable water, and sewerage facilities.

Three) Education and related indicators: pursuit of studies and level of education.

Four) Income-related indicators: number of cars owned by the household, economic dependency rate, and main occupation.

The threshold - the limit below which a need is considered as unsatisfied to an acceptable degree - for each indicator was then defined. It should be pointed out, however, that the acceptable minimum degree of satisfaction for a specific basic need differs from one country to another, and even between households in the same country. This minimum depends on several elements: the surrounding environment and circumstances; social traditions; cultural orientation and habits; and other factors. Thus, the definition of the lower limit, or the threshold, for each indicator involves a degree of personal judgment that could vary from one person to another.

In defining a threshold for each indicator, the study has benefited from available international standards and knowledge about the actual economic, social and educational situation of households in Lebanon. Practical tests were then carried out using data from the Population and Housing Survey to verify the suitability of these thresholds; and several modifications were introduced to ensure objectivity to the extent possible. Based on this, the state of deprivation was defined for each of the selected indicators, as shown in Table 1 below:

Table1. Measurement of the degree of satisfaction of basic needs: Indicators and thresholds
Field and indicator
State of deprivation
A.The dwelling
1. Number of rooms

2. Built area (square meters)

3.Principal means of heating

* Less than 0.5 rooms per person
* Improvised accommodation, mobile, other
* 30 or less: household size more than 1
* from 31 to 80: household size more than 5
* from 141 to 200:household size more than 15
* Improvised dwelling, mobile, other
* No heating
* Other (charcoal, wood...)
B. Water and sewerage
1. Connection of dwelling to a water network
2. Principal source of potable water
3. Sewerage facilities

* Dwelling is not connected to a water network.
* Dwelling is connected to the public water network; where the principal source of potable water is different.
* Spring water
* Other source
* Open sewers
* Other
* None
C. Education
1. Pursuit of studies

2. Level of education (11 years and above)

* Does not pursue studies, though previously did; or has never attended school and aged 6-15 years (elementary stage and below)
* Currently pursues regular studies: elementary level, age 11 years and above;
* At present does not pursue regular studies but has done so before, or has never been to school; age is 11 years or above and can read, write, or illiterate.
D. Income-related indicators
1. Number of private cars
2. Dependency rate
3. Main occupation

* None
* More than 5.
* Relation to the labor force: employed outside the house, or work inside the house.
* Employment in the public sector: employed in the field of administration, personal services and protection, and sales; employed in occupations of a handicraft nature; and in operating and installing machinery and equipment.
* Farmers and skilled agricultural workers and fishermen.
* Unskilled workers.
* Relation to the labor force: unemployed but had previously held a job, or has never been employed before.

The next step involved the designing of a unified scale for measuring the degrees of satisfaction for each indicator, to be able to incorporate individual indicator's scores in a composite index for each field, and ultimately the four field indices in an overall composite index for measuring living conditions. To achieve this, the values for each indicator were converted to standardized values, referred to as the indicator's score. This score falls between zero and 2; being equal to zero in the case of extreme deprivation; equal to 1 at the threshold for the indicator; and 2 at the highest level of satisfaction possible for the need in question.

The index for each of the designated four fields is computed as the equivalent of the simple arithmetic mean of the relevant field indicators. The living conditions index is, in turn, computed as the equivalent of the simple arithmetic mean of the four field indices for each household.

As a result of the application of this methodology, each household obtains 11 scores, corresponding to the 11 individual indicators. The household also obtains 4 scores corresponding to the 4 field indices. Finally, it obtains one composite score for the living conditions index; which is then used to classify households into five (or three) categories depending on the degree of satisfaction of the basic needs.
The Mapping of Living Conditions in Lebanon study adopts a basic classification of households into five degrees or levels of satisfaction, based on the index score for the satisfaction of basic needs obtained by the household. The classification adopted is as follows:
1. Very low degree of satisfaction: household score of less than 0.75.
2. Low degree of satisfaction: household score varies between 0.75 and 0.99.
3. Intermediate degree of satisfaction: household score varies between 1 and 1.25.
4. High degree of satisfaction: household score varies between 1.26 and 1.49.
5. Very high degree of satisfaction: household score varies between 1.50 and 2.

To facilitate the analysis, a 3-level classification was also adopted whereby the degrees of very low and that of low satisfaction were combined in one category: "low"; and the degrees of high and very high satisfaction in one category: "high". The category of intermediate satisfaction was left unchanged with respect to both range and designation. Thus the 3-level classification becomes as follows:

1. Low degree of satisfaction: household score of less than 1.
2. Intermediate degree of satisfaction: household score varies between 1 and 1.25.
3. High degree of satisfaction: household score varies between 1.26 and 2.

In this classification, the term "low satisfaction" does not necessarily correspond to "poor"; nor does the term "high satisfaction" correspond to rich; or that of "intermediate satisfaction" to "middle class". This is particularly true of the category of intermediate satisfaction, which represents the largest category of households living at the threshold of satisfaction of basic needs, or somewhat higher (score varying between 1 and 1.25). In the context of the study, households classified as having a low degree of satisfaction, i.e. households falling below the threshold, were considered to be households deprived of satisfaction of basic needs or, briefly, as deprived households.

2. Definitions used

Indicator: denotes the satisfaction of a specific need that was expressed through one specific question or more in the questionnaire. The study adopted 11 indicators (e.g. share of an individual in built area, level of education, number of cars, etc.).

Threshold: denotes the level below which a need is considered to be not satisfied to a socially accepted degree.

Score: denotes a grade (point) accorded to each household depending on the degree of satisfaction of the need. A zero score denotes an extreme case of deprivation; the threshold score being always 1 and the maximum satisfaction score 2. Each household thus obtains a score varying between zero and 2, depending on the degree of satisfaction of the need in question; and one score for each indicator.

Index: is a composite of the indicators' scores in a specific field. Four such fields were adopted in the study, each represented by more than one indicator, namely: housing (3); water and sewerage (3); education (2); and income-related indicators (3). An index was computed for each field. Finally, a living conditions index was computed as an overall composite index of the scores of the indices in the four fields.

Deprivation: The term deprivation and its derivatives are used to denote the situation of households or individuals whose degree of satisfaction with respect to a specific need or field, or the overall living conditions index, is below the threshold. These are households and individuals classified in the study as having a low degree of satisfaction (low and very low).

Household: consists of one or more individuals, whether relatives or not, who live together and share the dwelling and food. The household could also consist of a number of conjugal families that share the same dwelling and food. In this case, the number of those living in the dwelling is taken to be equal to the total number of family members living in it.