Poverty alleviation is the first of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. However, the three decades of progress in poverty alleviation hit the COVID-19 pandemic wall (World Bank, 2022). This was further exacerbated by longstanding macroeconomic mismanagement in countries such as Sri Lanka. Counting the poor is the first step in poverty alleviation (The Economist, 2023). Deaton (2016), for example, notes that recording details of how people live, their consumption patterns, and their expenditure has long served as a tool, sometimes a political one, that aimed to bring the living conditions of the impoverished to the attention of those in authority, to evoke shock, and to advocate for reform.