Self-Sufficiency Measure

Step Up Silicon Valley measures poverty reduction using a common measurement system. The Step Up Self-Sufficiency Measure addresses the key challenge of consolidating disparate data and multiple reporting systems across and within the sectors of food, income, housing, education, and health care. In order to resolve the lack of consensus across providers on the metrics used to track results and outcomes of clients, moving up and out of poverty, Step Up, in partnership with Community Technology Alliance, has developed a common measurement system for five issue areas of poverty.

Community Technology Alliance is a Silicon Valley nonprofit that supports collective impact initiatives like Step Up Silicon Valley by providing technology tools, policy expertise, and staff training to support shared outcomes measurement. Community Technology Alliance operates with a mission of harnessing technologies to empower communities to develop data-driven solutions to poverty and homelessness.


The issue of poverty is highly complex. There is no single remedy or approach to address the issue. Instead, it will require comprehensive community building approaches, a combination of initiatives that simultaneously revitalize neighborhoods, promote job growth, link job seekers to employment opportunities, open up affordable housing opportunities in low-income areas, and provide access to education and healthcare programs.

To achieve this vision of poverty reduction, the network members of SUSV focus on:

  • Food – Guaranteeing that each child, adult, and senior has adequate, nutritious food everyday.
  • Housing – Ensuring that everyone can maintain a safe, affordable place to live and raise their families.
  • Healthcare – Expanding equitable access to affordable healthcare for all.
  • Education – Providing children and adults with meaningful educational and training opportunities.
  • Income – Creating opportunities for everyone to earn a self-sufficient wage and save for the future.
Mission Success Measures: Five Dimensions of Prosperity/Poverty


The Supplemental Poverty Measure provides a complex statistical lens upon who is poor and on poverty trends overtime. Relative to the official poverty rate, the SPM takes a more robust approach by accounting for factors including differences in housing status, regional price differences, taxes, family resources, and subsidies. By casting poverty in this new and more informative light, the SPM provides a more accurate and comprehensive picture of poverty in our community.