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New research paper proposes a measure of ‘destitution’ among the poor

OPHI has published a new Research in Progress Paper 42a titled ‘Measuring destitution in developing countries: An ordinal approach for identifying linked subset of multidimensionally poor’ by Sabina Alkire, Adriana Conconi and Suman Seth. In the paper, the authors note that overall poverty reduction may leave the poorest behind and thus it is a fair question to ask if the poverty reduction has taken place among the poorest of the poor.

A typical measurement approach is to set a more stringent poverty cutoff and assess the situation of those that are the poorest or destitute. In income poverty measurement, they are often referred as ultra poor. This paper instead pursues a multidimensional counting methodology, building on Alkire and Foster (2011) to understand the extent of destitution in 49 developing countries across the world using the same set of dimensions and indicators used for constructing the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) (Alkire and Santos 2010). Those who are poor according to these deeper deprivation cutoffs are classified as ‘destitute’.

The authors find surprisingly widespread destitution across these 49 countries housing 1.2 billion poor people – indeed around half of the MPI poor people are destitute by this measure. The paper also reports results sub-nationally for 41 countries, and illustrates how the overall change in poverty may be decomposed into changes affecting those that are destitute and those that are not.

You can read the paper here and you can find out more about the results of the Global MPI 2014 here.

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New Research in Progress paper analyses multidimensional poverty dynamics

OPHI has published a new Research in Progress paper 41a titled  ‘Multidimensional poverty dynamics: Methodology and results for 34 countries’ by Sabina Alkire, Jose Manuel Roche and Ana Vaz. The paper analyses changes in multidimensional poverty over time for over thirty countries and 338 sub-national regions, for which the authors have comparable data across at least two periods of time.

The paper first describes the absolute and relative changes in the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) and their significance, as well as changes in the composition of multidimensional poverty. Second, the paper examines changes in the MPI and its consistent partial indices over time across over 338 sub-national regions, plus a diversity of ethnic groups. In each case it identifies regions or ethnic groups where national poverty reduction is at risk of leaving the poorest subgroups behind. This extensive body of empirical evidence points to some fundamental research questions on the study of multidimensional poverty reduction.

You can read the paper here.

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New OPHI working paper investigates meaning of psychological agency

OPHI has published a new Working Paper 69 titled Psychological Agency: Evidence from the urban fringe of Bamako by Elise Klein. This paper contributes to the definition and examination of psychological elements of agency and empowerment in the development literature. Currently an examination of the psychological literature reveals a lack of empirical research related to non-Western contexts and development policy. Instead, empowerment is generally defined as a favourable opportunity structure, as choice, or as the distribution of power. Klein present the results of an empirical study using inductive mixed methods to examine the central factors contributing to initiatives people undertake to improve personal and collective well-being in Bamako, Mali. It finds that informants articulated that the psychological concepts of dusu (internal motivation) and ka da I yèrè la (self-efficacy) were most important to their purposeful agency.

You can read OPHI Working Paper 69 in full here.

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22 governments participate in high-level meeting of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) in Berlin

Ministers from over 20 countries belonging to the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) gathered in Berlin this week to endorse multidimensional poverty as an overall goal of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and endorse the establishment of a new MPI 2015+ measure of extreme poverty in the post-2015 development context. The network and its participants endorsed Multidimensional Poverty Indices (MPIs) as a powerful policy tool for enhanced poverty reduction at the regional, national and subnational level, with the ability to illuminate the state and progress of marginalised groups.

Keynote speeches were given by:

  • HE Dr Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
  • HE Dr Margarita Cedeño de Fernández
  • Vice-President of the Dominican Republic
  • Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, Government of Mexico

The event, the first high-level meeting of the Network since its launch at the University of Oxford in June 2013, provided a forum for senior delegates to share conceptual, methodological and practical information on the implementation of multidimensional poverty measures in their respective countries.

Hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the meeting brought together Vice Presidents, Ministers and Deputy Ministers from 25 governments, including Bhutan, Brazil, China, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa and Vietnam. Senior representatives from international institutions such as OECD, UNDP, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Organization of American States (OAS) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) were also present.

At the meeting the network launched the official Multidimensional Poverty Network website that gives information about the work of poverty being conducted by each participant country. Presentations given during the event are available to view on the website and the communiqué issued by the network can be read here.

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Government officials to gather in Berlin for high-level MPPN meeting next week

Between 7-8 July 2014, senior representatives from nearly 30 governments and international institutions will gather in Berlin, Germany for a high-level meeting of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network, of which Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative is the Secretariat.

The event, the first high-level meeting of the Network since its launch at the University of Oxford in June 2013, will provide a forum for senior delegates to share conceptual, methodological and practical information on the implementation of multidimensional poverty measures in their respective countries.

Hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the meeting brings together Vice Presidents, Ministers and Deputy Ministers from 25 governments, including Bhutan, Brazil, China, Chile, Colombia, Mexico Mozambique, Nigeria, Turkey, South Africa and Vietnam. Senior representatives from international institutions such as OECD, UNDP, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Organization of American States (OAS) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will also be present. There will be over 20 presentations during the meeting, showcasing different experiences in addressing multidimensional poverty and/or designing national and subnational multidimensional measures.

You can follow different segments of the event live on Twitter through the hashtag #MPPN2014. Videos and powerpoint presentations from the meeting will also be available online after the event.

Highlights include
•    Presentations from over 18 governments on their steps toward developing multidimensional measures of poverty;
•    Keynote speeches from HE Dr Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, Vice-President of the Dominican Republic on the 7th of July; and Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, Government of Mexico, and HE Dr Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia on the 8th of July;
•    A roundtable discussions about multidimensional poverty in the post-2015 development agenda.

The high-level meeting furthers the network’s mission to provide international support to policymakers engaged in or exploring the construction of multidimensional poverty measures. It provides a forum for South-South exchanges on topics such as measurement design and the political processes and institutional arrangements that sustain new measures.

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New OPHI working paper proposes a regional multidimensional poverty index

OPHI has published a new Working Paper 66 titled Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America: Previous Experience and the Way Forward by Maria Emma Santos. This paper states the need to design a multidimensional poverty index for the Latin America region (LA-MPI) that can monitor poverty trends in a cross-country comparable way, yet is also relevant to the particular regional context. Santos reviews the region’s rich experience with multidimensional poverty measurement, as well as Europe’s experiences with multidimensional measurement.  Drawing from the review, she outlines an LA-MPI composed of five dimensions: basic consumptions, education, health, housing and basic services, and work. The paper then lists the indicators within those dimensions that are desirable, as well as what indicators are feasible given existing data constraints.

You can read OPHI Working Paper 66 in full here.

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OPHI Researcher interviewed by the Movement for Global Mental Health

The Movement for Global Mental Health (MGMH) Newsletter has published a substantive interview with one of the movement’s most prominent critics, OPHI Researcher, China Mills, author of Decolonizing Global Mental Health: The psychiatrization of the majority world.  In an interview with Jagannath Lamichhane, the Principal Coordinator of the MGMH, China Mills fleshes out and shares her ideas and critical voice of dissent regarding the Movement and the future of mental health.

In the interview Mills notes that “If we understand distress, that may well be due to harsh living conditions, as being caused by something inside people’s brains, then we are likely to intervene at the level of the individual, and not at a wider systemic level.” Mills points out that the suggestion that people in some poorer African or Asian countries do not have enough access to treatment “assumes that psychiatry is the only ‘treatment’ for distress, overlooking local and traditional healing practices.”

You can read the full interview here.

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New OPHI working paper on economic vulnerability in Italy

OPHI has published a new Working Paper 70 titled  Measuring Conjoint Vulnerabilities in Italy: An Asset-Based Approach, by Adolfo Morrone. The paper uses an asset-based approach focusing on the resources that individuals and households can draw upon to reduce economic vulnerability and strengthen their resilience.

Vulnerability is a much broader concept, affecting a potentially larger share of the population than “poverty” or “social exclusion”. Many types of risk have serious financial consequences. Those with the highest net worth (total assets minus liabilities), or with the ability to borrow or access credit, are best able to continue to meet their consumption needs when confronting adverse shocks. While the poor are less likely to have the assets they need or access to insurance or credit to protect themselves against shocks, the asset-poor and the income-poor are not necessarily the same groups. The paper uses the indicators identified in the OECD report on measuring vulnerability and resilience in OECD countries to build a conjoint vulnerability index (CVI) for Italian regions.

You can read OPHI Working Paper 70 in full here.

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Launch of the Global MPI 2014 picked up in the media and blogosphere

mpi2014_8The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2014 was launched on 16 June 2014 with presentations by the co-authors Ana Vaz, Suman Seth, Adriana Conconi and Sabina Alkire (from left to right, right). To access all the Global MPI 2014 resources, click here.

The index was the focus of a feature in prestigious magazine The Atlantic. ‘Good news: Economists at Oxford have come up with a better method for measuring global poverty,’ states the strapline. ‘[The Global MPI 2014] is being touted as the most accurate reflection of the world’s poor, a sort of census of the global impoverished population,’ it goes on to say. You can read the feature in full here.

The launch of the Global MPI 2014 was also heralded on Duncan Green’s high-profile ‘From Poverty to Power‘ blog on 16 June 2014. Green describes the index as ‘fascinating’; ‘every now and then, I get caught up in some of the nerdy excitement generated by measuring the state of the world,’ he writes. You can read the post in full here.

Green’s blog was re-published widely, including on the World Bank’s People, Spaces, Deliberation blog.

Voice of America (VOA) also covered the launch of the Global MPI 2014, publishing an article titled ‘Poverty Called Multidimensional‘. The article features an interview with OPHI’s Director Sabina Alkire in which she explains the need for a multidimensional measure of poverty to complement income measures.

“It needs a measure that looks at the other aspects of people’s lives — like bad health, bad education, no water and sanitation or poor housing – and sees how they’re doing in those,” she told VOA, the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. “Because it’s actually not the same people who are poor in both. And so both measures together give a more balanced picture of how people are living.”

You can read the article in full here.

The Global MPI 2014 findings were also picked up in India; RTT News and  The Hindu BusinessLine ran stories under the headline ‘India is poorest in South Asia after Afghanistan’, while the Hindustan Times went with ’343mn people destitute in India: Oxford study’.

Devex and The Practitioner Hub blog both covered the launch, and Oxford University’s website ran a feature titled ‘Half of the world’s poor classed as ‘destitute’‘.

The launch was also flagged up by Andy Sumner in an article for the Global Policy Journal. Sumner, who co-directs the International Development Institute at Kings’ College London, analyses expected revisions in income poverty estimates and suggests more attention should be given to multidimensional poverty data in the article, titled ‘Did Global Poverty just fall a lot, quite a bit or not at all?’.

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Global MPI 2014 – key findings and resources available following London launch

MPI-launch-pic-for-WEBClick here for Global MPI 2014 Key Resources: Country Briefings, Data Tables, Interactive Databank

Key findings and resources from the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2014 are available following the launch of this year’s index in London on 16 June 2014, including an at-a-glance overview of our findings and a 2014 synthesis of main results in eight pages. We have policy briefings on destitution, on rural-urban multidimensional poverty, on inequality among the multidimensionally poor and on changes in multidimensional poverty over time .

For the non-experts and youth we have intuitive infographics; for those who want a human angle, we have new stories from Cameroon and India. And for more technical users we have data tables on Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI 2014), on MPI in Rural-Urban Areas,  on MPI by Subnational Regions, and on Changes in MPI and Destitution over time. We also have new draft papers on Destitution, Poverty Dynamics, and Inequality.

mohammed-WEBYou can also watch a video contribution from Amina Mohammed, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, which featured in the launch.

The Global MPI is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries which provides invaluable insights for the post-2015 development agenda. At the launch, OPHI presented new estimations for 30 countries covering 2.5 billion people, and released new studies that answer the following questions:

  1. What percentage of MPI poor people live in rural vs urban areas? We will release urban-rural disaggregations of our data for all 108 countries, as well as disaggregated data for nearly 800 subnational regions.
  2. Who are the destitute and where do they live?We have identified millions of people who are MPI poor yet also suffer deeper deprivations – such as severe malnutrition, the tragic loss of two or more children, practising open defecation, or not owning so much as a mobile phone or radio.  We expose sobering facts on where they live and how they are poor – and where destitution was reduced most – to help policymakers fight extreme poverty more effectively.
  3. Reducing MPI poverty – LICs and LDC heroes. This in-depth study tracks changes in MPI poverty over time for 2.5 billion people, and reveals impressive leadership among some low income and least developed countries. Surprising subnational patterns emerge as well – in one country, the poorest ethnic group reduced poverty the most; in another, not at all.
  4. Inequality and Disparity . Distilling information from each person’s deprivation score in over 90 countries, and the MPI values of nearly 800 subnational regions, we release new measures of inequality among the poor, and of disparity in poverty across regions.

Taken together, these studies demonstrate the value for policy of a global index of multidimensional poverty that reflects deprivations directly (without the need for PPPs), complements monetary measures, and can be disaggregated to provide powerful insights.  We look forward to your input in debating the relevance of an improved MPI 2015+ for the drive to eradicate poverty post-2015.

Speakers at the event included OPHI’s Sabina Alkire, Adriana Conconi, Suman Seth and Ana Vaz, co-authors of this year’s MPI outputs. The event also featured a contribution from Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, and reflections from Kevin Watkins, Executive Director at the ODI, and James Foster, OPHI Research Associate and Professor of Economics and International Affairs at The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University.

The event was video streamed live, and the footage will be available to watch online soon; please check our website for details.

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New report on baseline survey of Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index

The Women’s Empowerment Global Synthesis Report has been launched by the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. The report, co-authored by OPHI Director Sabina Alkire, provides a comprehensive analysis of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) baseline survey results for thirteen countries.

The WEAI is the first-ever measure to directly capture women’s empowerment and inclusion levels in the agricultural sector. Developed by USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute and OPHI, the index is an innovative tool that tracks women’s engagement in agriculture in five areas: production, resources, income, leadership and time use.

The new report summarizes both findings from the WEAI survey and the relationships between the WEAI and various outcomes of interest to the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative. These poverty, health, and nutrition outcomes include both factors that might affect empowerment and outcomes that might result from empowerment.

The analysis includes thirteen countries from five regions and compares their baseline survey scores. WEAI scores range from a high of 0.98 in Cambodia to a low of 0.66 in Bangladesh. Within Africa, West African countries have the lowest WEAI scores, followed by southern Africa with higher scores, and then East Africa, with the highest scores. These numbers provide an important measure of future progress, as baseline surveys for the remainder of Feed the Future countries are completed and additional rounds of data are collected during the midline and endline surveys.

You can download the new report here and you can find out more about the WEAI here.

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OPHI wins Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize

OPHI has won first prize in the category of ‘Outstanding International Impact’ at the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) second annual Celebrating Impact Prize ceremony.

The OPHI team was rewarded for its work on multidimensional poverty measurement; you can find out more here.

The ESRC is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues, and is committed to supporting independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of ESRC-funded researchers. This year’s winners and runners up were announced at an awards ceremony held at The Royal Society in London on 5 June 2014.

The applications were judged by a panel of experts from business, academia and the public sector. Shortlisted entrants were invited to attend an interview, with a user of their research, to further demonstrate to the panel their role in achieving outstanding research impact. The winners each received a trophy and £10,000 to promote the economic and social impacts of their research. Second prize winners received £5,000, also to invest in impact activities.

There were five main categories in the prize, in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award which can be viewed here, along with the full list of the prize winners.

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OPHI job vacancy ~ Research Communications Officer

Applications are invited for a full-time, fixed-term post of a Research Communications Officer, starting as soon as possible for one year in the first instance. The postholder will draft written materials to promote and disseminate OPHI’s work; ensure that research work is published in a timely fashion in paper and online; and proactively manage OPHI’s website, building content and developing sections such as the online training portal. The successful applicant will be expected to oversee the communication aspects of all OPHI events, play a role in nurturing relationships, and represent OPHI at some events.

Applicants must have extensive experience in publications and editing, and experience of updating and maintaining the content of a website. Also essential are excellent writing skills, proven organisational skills, and the ability to function effectively in a team environment. An understanding of or an interest in development and poverty is important, as is some experience of media and public relations.

Details of further particulars and on how to apply can be found here.

Only applications received before 12.00 noon on Monday 23 June 2014 can be considered.

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Sabina Alkire delivers keynote speech at ALCADECA, Peru

OPHI’s Director Sabina Alkire delivered the keynote speech at the closing plenary of the Fifth Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Association for Human Development and the Capabilities Approach (ALCADECA), held in Lima, Peru, from 14-16 May 2014.

The conference, titled ‘Ethics, Agency and Human Development’, focused on the agency effectively exercised by citizens in decades of substantial economic growth, social policy expansion and diversification of government styles in Latin American and the Caribbean. It was attended by academics, researchers, policymakers and practitioners working in different arenas.

Punto Edu, the newspaper of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), published an interview with Alkire which can be read here. OPHI’s Director was also interviewed by the magazine La Mula on economic growth and poverty measurement, for a piece that can be read here.

The conference closed an intensive two-week trip around the Americas by Alkire and other members of the OPHI team. Highlights of the trip included: presentations at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) in New York; a lecture at  the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City; and a lecture at the Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo, Uruguay.

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Article by Jean Drèze highlights the usefulness of the Global MPI

The Hindu has published an opinion piece by the economist Jean Drèze in which he highlights the usefulness of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

In his article assessing the development achievements of the state of Gujarat in India, Drèze highlights Gujarat’s ranking on the Global MPI, noting that: ‘In the latest MPI ranking of Indian States, by Sabina Alkire and her colleagues at Oxford University, Gujarat comes 9th (again) among 20 major Indian States’.

Drèze writes that the Global MPI is a useful summary index for a comparison of poverty. ‘Briefly, the idea is that poverty manifests itself in different kinds of deprivation — lack of food, shelter, sanitation, schooling, health care, and so on,’ he explains. ‘Starting with a list of basic deprivations, a household is considered “poor” if it has more than a given proportion (say one third) of these deprivations.’

The article ‘The Gujarat Middle’ appeared in The Hindu on 10 May 2014. The updated Global MPI will be launched on 16 June 2014 at an event in London which will be video streamed live online; find out how to register your interest in the launch event here, and read more about the Global MPI 2013 here.

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OPHI seeks a Research Officer in Multidimensional Poverty

Applications are invited for a full-time postdoctoral Research Officer position, starting as soon as possible and tenable for one year in the first instance. Working closely with the OPHI Director, Sabina Alkire, and the research team, the successful candidate will contribute substantially to multidimensional poverty measurement by preparing statistical outputs and documentation.

These may include 2015 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) updates for developing countries, and empirical trials towards a post-2015 MPI. In addition, the postholder will undertake academic research on multidimensional poverty analysis, and will also support partners who are implementing OPHI methodologies, to help troubleshoot and direct them to resources. The Research Officer will also participate in OPHI dissemination activities such as research workshops, conferences, seminars, and collaborative work. The post requires overseas travel of approximately 60 days a year.

For further particulars and how to apply, please click here.

All applications must be received by midday UK time on Thursday 19 June.

Informal enquiries about the post may be directed to the OPHI Project Coordinator, Laura O’Mahony (laura.omahony@qeh.ox.ac.uk).

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South Africa launches South African Multidimensional Poverty Index (SAMPI)

Statistics South Africa has published a report launching the South African Multidimensional Poverty Index (SAMPI), which uses the Alkire Foster (AF) method developed at OPHI.

Statistics SA, the national statistical service of South Africa, used the method in order to ‘improve poverty measurement for the country and to align ourselves with the growing international trend towards measuring poverty beyond the traditional money-metric method’, it states in the report. The new measure is intended to complement the money-metric measures already used in the country, including the food poverty line, the lower-bound poverty line and the upper-bound poverty line.

The SAMPI takes advantage of the flexibility of the AF method, which enables measures to be built which are sensitive to a specific country context. For example, alongside the three dimensions used in the Global MPI - heath, education and living standards – the SAMPI includes a fourth dimension on economic activity, using unemployment as the indicator.

Census data collected in 2001 and 2011 were used to compute an index for each year, allowing analysis of changes of multidimensional poverty levels during this time period. The report finds that there has been a significant improvment in multidimensional poverty levels in South Africa over the decade analysed, with a decrease from 17.9% in 2001 to 8% in 2011.

Nationally, the contribution of living standards and eduction to the SAMPI fell by 3.3% and 3.9% respectively over the time period, which the report attributes to improvements in the government’s delivery of basic services in these areas. However, the contribution of economic activity increased from 32.9% to 39.8%, suggesting that unemployment levels are a serious contributing factor to household poverty in 2011.

You can download the full report here.

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OPHI’s Santos to teach multidimensional poverty measurement at UFF, Brazil

OPHI Research Associate Maria Emma Santos will teach a course on multdimensional poverty analysis this month at Universidad Federal Fluminense (UFF), near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Santos, who is a post-doctoral fellow of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) at the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina, will lead the course on ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement: A Counting Approach’, which takes place between 19 and 22 May, at the Department of Economics. She will also give a seminar on ‘Multidimensional Poverty in the Context of Latin America’.

Santos will focus on teaching the Alkire Foster method of multidimensional poverty measurement developed at OPHI. The method, developed by OPHI’s Director Sabina Alkire and Research Associate James Foster, is a flexible technique that can incorporate several different ‘dimensions’ of poverty or well-being, and has been used for a wide range of applications, including the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index, the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, and national MPIs in Mexico, Colombia and elsewhere.

For more information on Santos’ course, see the UFF website.

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Bhutan reports national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 2012

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, renowned for its philosophy of Gross National Happiness, has joined a pioneer set of countries which use an official Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to complement income measures and assess the core human needs of their people.

The National Statistics Bureau (NSB) of the Government of Bhutan has reported a national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 2012 based on data from the Bhutan Living Standards Survey (BLSS) 2012, conducted by the NSB (with support from the Asian Development Bank).

Bhutan’s MPI considers 13 indicators of poverty in three dimensions: health, education, and living standards. If someone is deprived in a third or more of the (weighted) indicators, they are identified as multidimensionally poor.

‘The report shows a positive picture of a range of initiatives that have been implemented by different agencies in different situations aimed at enhancing the quality of life for all,’ said Kuenga Tshering, Director General of the NSB. ‘It also draws our eyes to places like Gasa where multidimensional poverty rates are far higher than income poverty.’

The MPI value for the country is estimated to be at 0.051, indicating that poor people in Bhutan experience 1/20 of the deprivations that would be experienced if all people were deprived in all indicators. The report finds that people who are income poor are not necessarily multidimensionally poor – with only 3.2 percent of the 12 percent of people who are income poor being identified as multidimensionally poor.

The report also covers changes in the MPI over time using three datasets: BLSS 2007, the Bhutan Multiple Indicators Survey (BMIS) 2010, and BLSS 2012. The results show that poverty has reduced over time between 2007 and 2012, led by improvements in sanitation and access to electricity and roads, which reflect government investments during the period.

The index developed by Bhutan uses the Alkire Foster method, which has also been used to report the Global MPI published in UNDP’s Human Development Report each year since 2010.

You can read the report published by Bhutan here. To read a briefing on the Alkire-Foster method click here.

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OPHI’s Mills to give webinar on children’s rights and psychiatric treatment

OPHI Research Officer China Mills will give a webinar on ‘Psychotropic Kids: navigating children’s right to health and right to refuse treatment in contexts of poverty’ on Tuesday 6 May 2014 at 2pm (BST).

Mills will explore the tensions between children’s right to access psychiatric treatment, and their right to refuse treatment, within growing advocacy (from the World Health Organization and the Movement for Global Mental Health) to ‘scale up’ access to psychotropic drugs for children in the global South.

Mills’ presentation will be based on her paper ‘Psychotropic Childhoods: Global Mental Health and Pharmaceutical Children‘, which is published this month in a special issue of the journal Children & Society.

The webinar will be jointly hosted by the Children, Education and Health & Disability thematic groups at the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA).

Mills works as part of OPHI’s Missing Dimensions team, researching the impacts of Social Connectedness on people’s experiences of poverty. She recently published a book titled ‘Decolonizing Global Mental Health: The Psychiatrization of the Majority World’.

You can register for the webinar and find out more here.

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