High Level Panel Endorses Multidimensional Approach to Poverty at the Global Partnership Meeting

On 1 December, 2016, OPHI Co-Founder John Hammock moderated a session entitled “Multidimensional Poverty: Experiences from the South” that was organised by the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) as part of the Second High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in Nairobi, Kenya.

The session featured a discussion on the importance of a multidimensional approach for both measuring poverty and for effective development cooperation in order to “ensure no one is left behind,” in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN), a network of 53 countries, was presented by Hammock as the type of platform that models a multidimensional approach.

Panelists included:

  • Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany, who noted Germany’s support for multidimensional poverty, the MPPN, and the need to focus now on showing that the poor are graduating out of poverty.
  • Gina Casar, Executive Director of AMEXCID, who emphasized Mexico as the first country to adopt a multidimensional measure of poverty and a leader of the movement to use a multidimensional framework for poverty measurement and development cooperation
  • Charlotte Petri-Gornitzka, Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, who stressed this multidimensional lens needs to also focus on agency and voice as well as on the role of the private sector
  • Luis Tejada Chacón, Director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), who explained Spain’s commitment to Triangular Cooperation–involving Northern and Southern donors in its programs
  • Jos Verbeek, Manager and Special Representative to the UN and WTO for the World Bank, who commented on the World Bank’s natural progression to now incorporating multidimensional poverty alongside its monetary poverty measures
  • Malik Muhammad Uzair Khan, a Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, who stated that Pakistan had launched its National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), with OPHI and UNDP assistance, and stressed the importance of local ownership of this new measure that is already being used for public policy

Hammock highlighted several points:

  • Poor people were graduating out of MPI poverty in early country adopters of the MPI.
  • Costa Rica provides a case study of effective development since the Government is using the MPI as a framework for its anti-poverty national budget. The private sector is involved in the whole MPI process.
  • The MPI complements income poverty and provides a specific focus for effective development cooperation.

The Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network promotes the national and global MPI and encourages knowledge sharing across countries incorporating multidimensional measures into effective policy. OPHI hosts the Secretariat of the MPPN.