OPHI Summer School 2017: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis

Organised by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, the OPHI 2017 Summer School was held at Hotel les Jardins de l’Agdal, in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 3-15 July 2017.

The purpose of this intensive summer school was to provide a thorough technical and practical introduction to multidimensional poverty measurement with a strong emphasis on the Alkire-Foster method. Upon completing the course, students had the skills required to construct and analyse an official national multidimensional poverty measure and to describe its policy relevance. Drawing on Amartya Sen’s capability approach and empirical examples of national and global Multidimensional Poverty Indices (MPIs), the conceptual and empirical motivation for measuring multidimensional poverty was presented, as well as the full suite of measurement tools including estimation, dimensional breakdown, disaggregation by population subgroup, standard errors and statistical inference, robustness, communications, policy applications and so on.

The following topics were covered:

  • Unidimensional poverty measures;
  • Methodologies to analyse multidimensional poverty – dashboard, stochastic dominance, information theory, fuzzy set, multiple correspondence analysis, unmet basic needs and counting approaches – and the problems each methodology best solves;
  • The Alkire Foster methodology of multidimensional poverty measurement;
  • Measurement design – purpose, unit of measure, dimensions, indicators, cut-offs and weights;
  • Estimation of multidimensional poverty and interpretation of the results;
  • Subgroup decomposition and mapping;
  • Multidimensional poverty changes over time;
  • Econometric analysis of multidimensional poverty and impact evaluation;
  • Institutions, policies, and communication.

This year’s summer school was co-organised in partnership with the Morocco High Commission for Planning (HCP) as part of pre-conference activities of the ISI World Statistics Congress 2017 held in Marrakech (Morocco) from 16 to 21 July 2017. Further information can be found on the conference website: http://www.isi2017.org

The summer school was be led by OPHI Director Sabina Alkire and the OPHI team including Adriana Conconi, James Foster, John Hammock, Bouba Housseini, Christoph Jindra, Usha Kanagaratnam, Bilal Malaeb, Christian Oldiges, Monica Pinilla, Gisela Robles Aguilar and Nicolai Suppa.

Course Format:

The summer schools consist of 10.5 days of instruction and working group sessions, taught in English. Each participant needs to bring a laptop with Stata to do the problem sets. Throughout the summer school, participants will be actively involved in discussions and working through problem sets, and will be invited to present their research work and share their experiences.

Dates and Location:

The course ran from Monday 3 July 2017 to Friday 14 July 2017 with a final exam on Saturday 15 July 2017 (non-compulsory).


The course fee was as follows:

  • $850 USD for all students, and for academic researchers based in developing countries;
  • $2000 USD for professionals based in developing countries; and
  • $4000 USD for professionals based in developed countries.

In addition, participants pay for accommodation, travel fares and cost of Stata software programme. Additionally, please note a Morocco visa may need to be applied for and obtained at the participant’s cost.

Course Application Information

Audience The summer school is addressed to those who are working on, or actively interested in gaining skills in, multidimensional poverty measurement, particularly professional staff of national offices of statistics and in government ministries that deal with poverty reduction, professionals from international development institutions, academics, and postgraduate students. Applicants who are currently pursuing work on measurement are also welcome. Other applicants having a demonstrated research interest in empirical analysis in these topics will be considered on the basis of their experience and space availability.
Pre-requisites A demonstrable knowledge of Stata is an essential pre-requisite for attending the course. Every attendant to the summer school will need to have Stata 10 or higher installed in his/her laptop. The software will not be provided by the summer school.

A strong knowledge in quantitative methods (e.g. econometrics, statistics, etc.) and a strong interest in poverty measurement and analysis are highly desirable.

Financial Support Limited financial support is available. Competition for financial support will be very strong; however, well qualified and committed applicants with financial need are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are also highly encouraged to seek support from their local governments and institutions. We would be happy to provide support letters for these funding applications to accepted candidates.
Application Form To apply, please complete the online application form at https://www.formpl.us/form/6195712431751168 and submit a recent curriculum vitae and sample Stata .do file. The application process is competitive; applicants will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided in their application.
Questions? Please write to Rachel Pearson, ophi-summerschool@qeh.ox.ac.uk


OPHI Summer Schools and Course Materials

OPHI may be contracted for demand-driven executive education courses, specialized courses for institutions, researcher training modules, undergraduate and graduate course modules, and workshops and conferences. OPHI offers at least one intensive two-week summer school annually that offers participants a thorough conceptual and technical (Stata-based) introduction to current literature and techniques of measuring multidimensional poverty. Materials from previous courses are available on the Online Training Portal.

Past Summer Schools:

2016 Summer School 1-13 August; Beijing, China

2015 OPHI Summer School (Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA)

2014 OPHI Summer School (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)

2013 OPHI Summer School (George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA)

2012 OPHI Summer School (Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia)

2011 OPHI-HDCA Summer School (Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands)

2010 OPHI Summer School (University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)

2009 OPHI-HDCA Summer School (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Lima, Peru)

2008 OPHI-HDCA Summer School (Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, India)

Other courses:

2015 –  OPHI Training Course in Dakar, Senegal, in collaboration with SESRIC, ISFD and COMCEC, 30 November-6 December 2015.

2013 – OPHI-HDCA Spanish-language training course on multidimensional poverty measurement, at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua, from 20 August – 7 September 2013.