In this paper the authors discuss recent trends in poverty concepts and suggest a locally adapted multidimensional model for measuring and monitoring poverty. The model comprises nested layers with subjective wellbeing in the centre surrounded by a core of health, wealth and knowledge, and a context that includes natural, economic, social and political spheres, as well as service and structural aspects. These nine facets of poverty cover basic needs, individual assets and capabilities, and the enabling environment that helps people escape poverty by ensuring sustainability, providing opportunities and minimising vulnerability. The model was tested in several monitoring trials and in the official poverty and wellbeing monitoring of Kutai Barat District, Indonesia, in early 2006. Twenty-one subdistricts covering 223 villages with more than 150 000 people were assessed. Examples drawn from this experience illustrate possible applications of the model.