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Now available: Chapter nine of OPHI’s book on Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis

Chapter nine of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty comparison methodologies, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter nine of the book looks at how the methodological tool-kit for multidimensional poverty measurement presented in chapter five can be extended in order to understand inequality among the poor and changes in poverty over time.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter nine

Chapter nine is available to download as OPHI working paper number 90: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 9 – Distribution and Dynamics. It will also be published electronically on the book website, multidimensionalpoverty.org, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapters one – three of the book have been published online and are also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters four – eight are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on multidimensionalpoverty.org ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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Applications invited for OPHI’s annual summer school

OPHI is inviting applications for its annual Summer School on Multidimensional Poverty Analysis, which this year will be hosted at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA.

The course will take place from 3-15 August 2015. The purpose of this intensive summer school is to provide a thorough conceptual and technical introduction to some techniques of measuring multidimensional poverty, with a strong emphasis on the Alkire Foster method.

Deadlines

Applicants are warmly invited to apply by completing the online form. The closing date for applications is 23 March 2015, and participants will be informed of selection from 8 April. For applicants requiring financial assistance, the deadline is 16 March. Places for the Summer School are limited and competition is strong.

Further information

More details on the 2015 Summer School and the application process can be found here. You can see readings, presentations, exercises and other materials from last year’s Summer School here.

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Read online: Chapter eight of OPHI book on Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis available now

The eighth chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty comparison methodologies, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter eight of the book shows how to apply dominance and rank robustness tests to assess poverty comparisons as poverty cutoffs and other parameters changes. It presents ingredients of statistical inference, including standard errors, confidence intervals, and hypothesis tests. It also discusses how robustness and statistical inference tools can be used together to assert concrete policy conclusions. An appendix presents methods for computing standard errors, including the bootstrapped standard errors.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter eight

Chapter eight is available to download as OPHI working paper number 89: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 8 – Robustness Analysis and Statistical Inference. It will also be published electronically on the book website, multidimensionalpoverty.org, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters two – seven are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on multidimensionalpoverty.org ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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UNGA adopts resolution underlining the significance of multidimensional poverty measurement

In a resolution adopted in December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) highlighted the need to reflect the multidimensional nature of poverty.

The 69th session of the UNGA adopted  a resolution on the 19 December 2014 on Operational activities for development of the United Nations system. The resolution underlined ‘the need to better reflect the multidimensional nature of development and poverty, as well as the importance of developing a common understanding among Member States and other stakeholders of that multidimensionality and reflecting it in the context of the post-2015 development agenda’. It invites Member States to consider developing complementary measurements, including methodologies and indicators for measuring human development, that better reflect the multidimensionality.

The resolution reinforces the proposal of OPHI and the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) that the post-2015 development goals should include an integrated multidimensional poverty measure to draw attention to the bundles of deprivations poor people describe – and live. The recommended measure is a headline indicator of multidimensional poverty – the MPI2015+ (also known as the MPI 2.0), which would complement the $1.25 a day income poverty measure.

Further information

Read the UNGA resolution in full.

Find out about OPHI’s work on multidimensional poverty in the post-2015 process.

Read more on the UNGA website.

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Now available: Chapter seven of OPHI’s book on multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis

The seventh chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty comparison methodologies, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter seven of the book introduces empirical issues that are distinctive to counting-based multidimensional poverty methodologies. The chapter covers the different types of data sources used for multidimensional measures: censuses, administrative records, and household surveys – as well as outstanding data needs. It also discusses distinctive issues to be considered when constructing the indicators to include in a multidimensional poverty measure. Finally the chapter presents some basic descriptive analytical tools that can prove helpful in exploring the relationships between different indicators, detecting redundancy, and informing measure design and analysis.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter seven

Chapter seven is available to download as OPHI working paper number 88: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 7 – Data and Analysis. It will also be published electronically on the book website, multidimensionalpoverty.org, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters two – six are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on multidimensionalpoverty.org ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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Online now: Chapter six of OPHI’s book on multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis

Chapter six  of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty comparison methodologies, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

The sixth chapter of the book describes the normative choices made in the design of a multidimensional poverty measure. It clarifies the implications of each choice, illustrates interconnections between them, and outlines alternative ways that these choices might be understood, made, and justified.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter six

Chapter six is available to download as OPHI working paper number 87: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 6 – Normative Choices in Measurement Design. It will also be published electronically on the book website, multidimensionalpoverty.org, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters two – five are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on multidimensionalpoverty.org ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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Main findings from OPHI working paper included in report on poverty and inequality in Latin America

Findings from ‘A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Latin America’ – published as an OPHI working paper – have been included in the first chapter of ‘Social Panorama of Latin America 2014’, a report released by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) last week.

Chapter one of the report explores achievements and challenges in fighting poverty in Latin America, presenting an analysis of both income and multidimensional poverty. It sets out the working paper’s findings from a multidimensional index of poverty (MPI) for 17 Latin American countries, which was calculated jointly by ECLAC and OPHI.

The MPI for Latin America is composed of thirteen indicators of poverty grouped into five dimensions: housing, basic services, living standards, education, and employment and social protection. Results from the MPI revealed that that approximately 28 per cent of the region’s population was living in multidimensional poverty, with highest levels in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, and lowest levels in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.

The report emphasises that poverty manifests in multiple dimensions, beyond income. It highlights that the MPI shows variation in the form and intensity of poverty between counties – a finding that it recommends must be taken into account for effective policymaking to combat poverty.

Further information

Social Panorama of Latin America 2014 was published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in January 2015.

A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Latin America’, by Maria Emma Santos, Pablo Villatoro, Xavier Mancero and Pascual Gerstenfeld was published in the OPHI working paper series in January 2015.

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Read online: Chapter five of OPHI’s book on multidimensional poverty measurement now available

The fifth chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty comparison methodologies, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter five of the book gives a systematic overview of the Alkire-Foster multidimensional measurement methodology, with an emphasis on the Adjusted Headcount Ratio.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter five

Chapter five is available to download as OPHI working paper number 86: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 5 – The Alkire-Foster Counting Methodology. It will also be published electronically on the book website, multidimensionalpoverty.org, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters two – five are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on multidimensionalpoverty.org ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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New OPHI research shows overall poverty reduction in 16 Latin American countries

Uruguay, Argentina and Chile have the lowest rates of multidimensional poverty among 17 countries in the Latin American region, a new OPHI working paper has found.

The paper has proposed a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for the Latin American region,  composed of thirteen indicators grouped into five dimensions: housing, basic services, living standards, education, and employment and social protection. The authors estimated poverty for 17 countries at two points in time, one around 2005 and the other around 2012.

The findings show great variability of poverty across countries in the region. The researchers found that poverty is highest in three Central American countries – Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – where 7 in 10 people are multidimensionally poor. In contrast, the proportion in Uruguay, Argentina and Chile is 1 in 10. Overall,  28% of people in the Latin American region are estimated to live in multidimensional poverty.

Encouragingly, there was a statistically significant reduction in poverty between 2005 and 2012 in all countries except for El Salvador, with decreases in both incidence and intensity of poverty. Among the components of the MPI, living standards, led by income deprivation, emerged as a significant contributor to overall poverty, accounting – on average – for 30% of total poverty.

Read the full paper

‘A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Latin America’, by Maria Emma Santos, Pablo Villatoro, Xavier Mancero and Pascual Gerstenfeld was published in the OPHI working paper series in January 2015.

The MPI for Latin America and the main findings of this paper have been included in Chapter 1 of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s Social Panorama of Latin America 2014.

Find out more about OPHI’s Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) findings for countries in Latin America

Download individual country briefings for Latin American countries to see national and sub-national poverty profiles.

View graphs and maps for different poverty indicators at OPHI’s interactive databank.

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Chile announces national Multidimensional Poverty Index

The Chilean government announced its new national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) on 24 January 2015.  The national MPI was announced at the same time as the government released its updated income poverty measure. The government’s presentation can be viewed online.

According to the MPI, 20.4 per cent of the population in Chile live in multidimensional poverty, while 14.4 per cent are income poor. Five and a half per cent of Chileans experience both multidimensional and income poverty.

The Chilean MPI covers a wide range of deprivations, including education, health, safety and employment, and uses data from the 2013 National Socioeconomic Survey (CASEN). Announcing the results, Minster for Social Development Maria Fernanda Villegas explained that the MPI is a modern and transparent measure, developed in response to a consensus that the traditional income measure did not reflect the true reality of poverty.

Press coverage of the announcement can be found at latercera.com and emol.com.

The MPI methodology for Chile was formally presented in December 2014 at a seminar organised by the Ministry for Social Development and the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Social Cohesion (COES).  This was the culmination of work that began with a consultation process for a new index during President Bachelet’s previous term in office. The intervening administration established a presidential commission that worked to develop a multidimensional measure, before the new government’s work in finalising (with OPHI technical assistance) and now publishing the Index – all an excellent indicator of the measure’s ability to survive political change.

Chile is a member of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network, a network of over 30 countries focused on multidimensional poverty measurement. Chile joins Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines and Bhutan as the fifth government to adopt officially a national MPI.  In addition, the State Government of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the City Government of Ho Chi Minh City also use their locally adopted MPI.

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OPHI lunchtime seminar series: Hilary Term programme available online

OPHI’s programme of lunchtime seminars for Hilary Term starts on Monday 26 January. OPHI Research Officer Ana Vaz will speak on ‘Measuring women’s autonomy in Chad and its associations with breastfeeding practices’.

Throughout the series, OPHI researchers will present their work on multidimensionally poverty, with time for feedback and discussion after each presentation.  Additionally, Brian Nolan, Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and Director of the Employment, Equity and Growth Programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, will give a talk on ‘Inequality, growth and living standards in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’ on 9 February. The series will end on 9 March with OPHI Director Sabina Alkire speaking on ‘A Multidimensional Poverty Index in the Sustainable Development Goals – interim reflections’.

All seminars will take place on Mondays from 1pm – 2pm in seminar room 3, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB. Everyone is welcome, and a complimentary sandwich lunch is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Details of the full programme are available on OPHI’s seminar page.

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Chapter four of OPHI’s book on multidimensional poverty measurement published as working paper

The fourth chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty measurement, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

In chapter four, the authors review applications of counting approaches in the history of poverty measurement. A counting approach is one way to identify the poor in multidimensional poverty measurement, which entails the intuitive procedure of counting the number of dimensions in which people suffer deprivation. The chapter focuses on empirical studies since the late ‘70s, which developed relatively independently of each other in two regions. In Latin America, applications of the Unsatisfied Basic Needs Approach were widespread, often using census and survey data. European work drew on concepts of social exclusion and inclusion, and now includes national and European initiatives.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter four

Chapter four is available to download as OPHI working paper number 85: ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 4 – Counting Approaches: Definitions, Origins, and Implementations’. It will also be published electronically on the book website, multidimensionalpoverty.org, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters two and three are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on multidimensionalpoverty.org ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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Third chapter of OPHI book on multidimensional poverty measurement now available

The third  chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty measurement, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter three provides a constructive survey of the major existing methods for measuring multidimensional poverty, many of which have been motivated by the basic needs approach, the capability approach, and the social inclusion approach among others. The chapter reviews Dashboards, the composite indices approach, Venn diagrams, the dominance approach, statistical approaches, fuzzy sets, and the axiomatic approach used in the measurement of multidimensional poverty. After outlining the different methods, the chapter provides a critical evaluation of each by discussing their advantages and disadvantages as methodological tools.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter three

Chapter three is available to download as an OPHI working paper and will be published electronically on the book website in January 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapter two is available to download as an OPHI working paper and will be published electronically in January 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on the book website ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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Global MPI pinpoints where people are most deprived in different indicators of poverty

The poorest region in the world overall is Salamat in south-east Chad, but OPHI’s analysis of the updated Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) also shows which sub-national regions have the highest rates of deprivation in particular indicators of poverty.

Using the Winter 2014/2015 updates of the Global MPI, OPHI researchers have been able to look beyond national averages of poverty to more effectively identify where the poorest people in the world live, and how they are poor. The MPI is a measure of poverty that combines simultaneous disadvantages experienced by the poor across different areas of their lives, including education, health and living standards. If people are deprived in one-third or more of ten weighted indicators, they are identified as multidimensionally poor.

The MPI can be broken down to reveal the proportion of multidimensionally poor people in a country or sub-national region that are deprived in each  indicator of poverty. The researchers found that, of 803 sub-national regions studied, the region with the highest rates of people who are multidimensionally poor and simultaneously deprived in nutrition is Affar in Ethiopia, and that with most child mortality is Nord-Ouest in Cote d’Ivoire. Karamoja in Uganda is the most deprived region for sanitation, and Wad Fira in Chad for drinking water, electricity and years of schooling. Androy in Madagascar has the highest rates of people who are poor and don’t own any assets, and Kuntuar in Gambia has lowest rates of school attendance. Interestingly, none of these regions is Salamat in Chad. In Salamat, however, there are consistently high rates of deprivation in many different indicators at the same time.

Salamat’s 2010 MPI report shows that nearly 98% of its 354,000 inhabitants are multidimensionally poor. On average, each poor person in Salamat is deprived in nearly 75% of the MPI indicators, which also makes it the region with the highest intensity of poverty. In fact, three of the five poorest regions included in the study are in Chad and two are in Burkina Faso.

However, significantly, the poorest country overall is neither of these – it is Niger.

The updated Global Multidimensional Poverty Index now covers 110 developing countries, and 803 regions in 72 of these countries. The analysis is of data ranging from 2002 to 2014, mainly collected by UNICEF’s Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey and USAID’s Demographic and Health Survey. The MPI is published in UNDP’s Human Development Reports.

Download OPHI’s briefing paper on the latest Global MPI results

‘High visibility: How disaggregated metrics help to reduce multidimensional poverty’ was published on 7 January 2015.

Further resources

Download individual country briefings for Chad, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Madagascar and Gambia and visit OPHI’s online interactive databank for maps and graphs showing the level and composition of multidimensional poverty across different countries and sub-national regions.

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The world’s poorest people don’t always live where you’d expect

Poverty measures reported at the national level don’t provide a full picture of where the world’s poorest live. New research from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford has revealed that nearly 60 per cent of people living in the world’s poorest regions are actually not in the least developed countries.

Measuring the different things that people are deprived of, researchers have identified sub-national regions of the world where the poorest people live. The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) reflects the combined simultaneous disadvantages poor people experience across different areas of their lives, including education, health and living standards. If people are deprived in at least one-third of ten weighted indicators, they are identified as multi-dimensionally poor. This poverty measure, MPI, complements income poverty measures.

Using the January 2015 updates of the MPI released today, the study team looked at more than 230 regions of countries where multidimensional poverty is at least as high as the 25 poorest Least Developed Countries (LDCs), identified by the United Nations (Economic and Social Council). They found that nearly 60 per cent of the 768 million multi-dimensionally poor people in these subnational regions live in countries that are not classified as LDCs, and all but one non-LDC region were in countries classed as middle-income: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Namibia and the Republic of Congo.

The findings show that pockets of deprivation are missed in aggregate statistics. For example, in Doula, the largest city in Cameroon, 6.7 per cent of people are multi-dimensionally poor; yet elsewhere in the same country, in the Extrême-Nord, nearly 87 per cent are measured as MPI-poor. The researchers say the striking disparity would be hidden if we only relied on the figure for the national average which shows that 46 per cent of the population in Cameroon are MPI-poor.

While Niger has the highest percentage of MPI-poor, with 89.3 per cent of its entire population found to be living in multidimensional poverty, using the same MPI measure the five poorest regions in the world are in Chad and Burkina Faso. The OPHI researchers found that the very poorest region of all the 803 regions studied is Salamat in Chad, where nearly 98 per cent of its 354,000 inhabitants are measured as multi-dimensionally poor.

Dr Sabina Alkire, Director of OPHI, said: ‘The MPI enables us to examine poverty within regions of a country as well as nationally, and compare the interlocking deprivations people experience. It can reveal experiences across rural and urban areas, and across different ethnic populations. We measure different types of deprivation together – such as malnutrition, poor sanitation, a lack of housing or schooling – and every person matters.’

‘Our findings highlight the value of having good quality, up-to-date and detailed survey data to reveal what life is really like for the poorest section of populations. I’m particularly glad that of the 30 low income countries covered, we can compare the MPI across regions within countries for all but one.’

The United Nations has stressed the need to identify where the poorest live in order to ‘leave no-one behind’. The researchers argue that the MPI is essential to accurately target   resources and policies where they are needed most.

The updated global Multidimensional Poverty Index now covers 110 developing countries, and 803 regions in 72 of these countries. The analysis is of data ranging from 2002 to 2014, mainly collected by UNICEF’s Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey and USAID’s Demographic and Health Survey. The MPI is published in UNDP’s Human Development Reports.

Download OPHI’s briefing paper on the latest global MPI results

‘High visibility: How disaggregated metrics help to reduce multidimensional poverty’ was published on 7 January 2015.

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Second chapter of OPHI book on multidimensional poverty measurement now available

The second chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty measurement, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter two introduces the notation and basic concepts that are used to discuss multidimensional poverty. The chapter presents a review of unidimensional poverty measurement with particular attention to the well-known Foster-Greer-Thorbecke measures of income poverty. The authors define the issue of indicators’ scales of measurement, and also address issues of comparability across people and dimensions. The final section of the chapter explains different properties that have been proposed in axiomatic approaches to multidimensional poverty measurement, which enable the analyst to understand the ethical principles embodied in a measure.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter two

Chapter two is available to download as an OPHI working paper and will be published online in January 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Electronic versions of the chapters will be made available on the book website ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.

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Iraqi Human Development Report presents multidimensional poverty index as tool for youth empowerment

Income, female education and job security have been identified as crucial to youth empowerment in Iraq in a new report by the Iraqi government and UNDP Iraq, which presents a national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

Jointly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haidar Al-Abadi and Minister of Planning Dr. Salman Al-Jumaily  launched the National Human Development Report  2014 under the theme ‘Iraqi Youth: Challenges and Opportunities’ in Baghdad in December 2014. The National Human Development Report focuses on opportunities and challenges related to youth development in line with the focus on youth empowerment set in the Iraqi government’s  National Development Plan 2013–2017.

The report presents an MPI for Iraq which is comprised of five dimensions in line with the priorities of the National Development Plan: education (4 indicators), basic services (4 indicators), nutrition and health (4 indicators), standard of living (3 indicators), and employment (6 indicators).  The dimensions were given equal weight and families were identified as multidimensionally poor if they were deprived in at least 33 percent of the indicators. The report estimates results based on the Iraq Knowledge Network Survey of 2011 and finds that 13.3 percent of Iraq’s population is multidimensionally poor.

Multidimensional poverty varies greatly from one Iraqi governorate to another. About 30 percent of the population in the governorates of Maysan and Wasit suffer from multidimensional poverty, compared to 4.3 percent in Baghdad and 1.4 percent in Sulaymaniya. The results also show the dimensions most responsible for multidimensional poverty. Income accounts for 17 percent of the total deprivation score, followed by female primary education at 9 percent and insecure employment. The report recommends that these results should be used to indicate priorities for social policies that will benefit the youth.

The report provides the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to both the youth and the government of Iraq as a tool for the monitoring, observation, follow-up, and advocacy of policies centered on the youth.

Further information

Read the full report: ‘UNDP Iraq Human Development Report 2014: Iraqi Youth, Challenges and Opportunities.’

Read about Iraq’s work as part on multidimensional poverty as part of the international high-level Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN).

Read about other national multidimensional poverty indices and the Alkire-Foster method on which these indices are based.

 

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Read online: First chapter of OPHI book on multidimensional poverty measurement now available

The first chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to read online  and download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty measurement, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

Chapter one presents the motivations for a multidimensional approach to poverty measurement. It argues that poverty measures should not focus solely on income, as this overlooks people that experience other forms of deprivation, such as a lack of education or employment, inadequate housing, or poor health and nutrition. By presenting a vivid picture of how and where people are poor, within and across countries and regions, multidimensional poverty measures can help policymakers target resources at those most in need. The chapter ends with a discussion of how the Alkire Foster method can be used to measure multidimensional poverty.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Electronic versions of the chapters will be made available on the book website ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources. Find out more about the book.

Read chapter one

Chapter one is published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

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Article by OPHI’s Alkire and Santos makes list of top Social Indicators Research downloads

Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos’s paper ‘A Multidimensional Approach: Poverty Measurement & Beyond’  is among the top most downloaded documents published in 2013 and 2014 in the Social Indicators Research  journal.

Published in May 2013, the article is an introduction to a special issue of Social Indicators Research on multidimensional poverty. It outlines the Alkire-Foster (AF) method and highlights its advantages and limitations, as well as presenting other multidimensional poverty measures to which the AF method is compared in some papers.

The special issue comprises a set of nine papers that have applied the AF methodology. Their preliminary versions were presented at an OPHI workshop in June 2009 on “Multidimensional Measures in Six Contexts”.

Read the full paper

‘A Multidimensional Approach: Poverty Measurement & Beyond’, by Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, was published in a special issue of Social Indicators Research in February 2013.

Further information

Find out more about OPHI’s Alkire-Foster method of multidimensional poverty measurement.

See how the AF method has been applied by different countries in the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN).

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Chile to publish national Multidimensional Poverty Index

The Chilean government have announced that they plan to launch a national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in 2015.  Ahead of the launch, the country’s national press is leading a discussion of multidimensional poverty measurement, and interviews with both Sabina Alkire and James Foster have been published in major newspapers.

Interest was sparked through last week’s seminar organised by the Ministry for Social Development and the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Social Cohesion (COES), at which Sabina Alkire and James Foster spoke.  At the seminar the Chilean Under-Secretary for Social Development, Heidi Berner, announced that a Multidimensional Poverty Index will be released in addition to the 2013 National Socioeconomic Survey (CASEN) findings, which are also due to be published early next year.  The 2011 CASEN showed 14.4% of the population was income poor but included questions on education, health, housing and labour that have since been used to inform the MPI calculation.

The consultation process for the new Index was initiated during President Bachelet’s previous term in office.  The intervening administration established a presidential commission, before the new government’s work in finalising and publishing the Index – all an excellent indicator of the measure’s ability to survive political change.

Read interviews with Sabina Alkire and James Foster (in Spanish) published in Estrategia and El Mercurio.

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