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About

What does the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) do?

The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) is an economic research centre within the Oxford Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. Established in 2007, the centre is led by Sabina Alkire.

OPHI aims to build and advance a more systematic methodological and economic framework for reducing multidimensional poverty, grounded in people’s experiences and values. OPHI works towards this by:

  • Broadening poverty measurement. OPHI develops and implements multi-dimensional measures of poverty, wellbeing and inequality. These measures go beyond traditional one-dimensional approaches to incorporate dimensions such as health, education, living standards, quality of work and more innovative dimensions.
  • Building capacity. OPHI runs academic courses and technical training programmes on multidimensional poverty and human development, and collaborates with universities, development agencies, governments and other research institutions and policy makers using our work.
  • Impacting policy. OPHI’s methodologies have been adopted by policy makers, including national governments and the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report.

OPHI’s work is grounded in Amartya Sen’s capability approach. OPHI works to implement this approach by creating real tools that inform policies to reduce poverty.

OPHI’s team members are involved in a wide range of activities and collaborations around the world, including survey design and testing, quantitative and qualitative data collection, training and mentoring, and advising policy makers.

Where can you find out more about OPHI’s work?

OPHI holds a seminar series, international workshops and organises special events with key figures.

As well as ongoing collaborations with universities, research networks, development agencies, governments and international organisations, OPHI also works with these organisations on specific projects around the world. View our world map to learn more about where we work.

OPHI is advised by Professor Sudhir Anand, Sir Tony Atkinson and Professor Amartya Sen. OPHI emerged from and is actively involved in the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA).

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Latest

OPHI, the MPPN and the Government of Colombia host special side-event at Cartagena Data Festival This event on 21 April higlighted a new multidimensional poverty measure that can help to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” - a key component of the first goal of the final Open Working Group proposal for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more

New research explores how women’s empowerment in agriculture matters for nutrition in Ghana A study published in the Food Policy journal has used the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) to explore links between empowerment and nutrition among women in Ghana. Read more

OPHI working paper reveals differences in multidimensional poverty across Sudan and South Sudan Multidimensional poverty is greater in South Sudan than Sudan, but experiences of the poor vary significantly by gender, age and geographical region, a new OPHI working paper has found. Read more

Leaving no-one behind: Who are the poorest poor? A new study published in the Journal of International Development compares three strategies for identifying the poorest billion people in the world. Read more

New OPHI working paper explores measuring wellbeing for public policy A new working paper published by OPHI presents Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach as a framework for measuring well-being to inform public policy. Read more

Blog: Statisticians as Global Change Makers With the Sustainable Development Goals due to be adopted by the UN in September, a new blog post by OPHI’s John Hammock looks at the integral role that statisticians will play in measuring their success over the next 15 years. Read more