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Missing Dimensions of Poverty

Money alone is an incomplete measure of ‘poverty’. Human development is about giving people the opportunities to live lives they value, and focuses on what people are able to be and to do. OPHI has identified five ‘Missing Dimensions’ of poverty, further explained below, that deprived people cite as important in their experiences of poverty.

To collect better data on these ‘missing dimensions’, OPHI has designed five short, 8-10 minute questionnaire modules that can be integrated into national household surveys. For more information, and to access the modules in different languages, see the Survey Modules page.

Some of OPHI’s research on the various ‘missing dimensions’ of poverty has been made available in Spanish, through a collaboration with CAF – Development Bank of Latin America. The new publication, The missing dimensions in the measurement of poverty (Las dimensiones faltantes en la medición de la pobreza in Spanish) argues that measures of multidimensional poverty ought to include psychological well-being, physical security, the ability to go through life without shame or humiliation, empowerment, the quality of employment, and social connections with others, in addition to more ‘traditional’ components, such as education, health and material living standards.

QUALITY OF WORK

Informal employment, security and safety at work

quality_of_work2

Formal and informal employment, hazards, income,self-employment, responses to shock and fair treatment

EMPOWERMENT

Agency and the power people have to shape their lives

empowerment

Control over actions in public and private domains, how autonomy, coercion and the desire to please others shape action.

PHYSICAL SAFETY

Freedom from violence against people & property

physical_safety

Violent crime and conflict-related violence against people and property (e.g. theft) and responses to violence.

SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS

Relationships and freedom from shame and humiliation

social_connectiveness

Value of relations and social connections, both intrinsically and instrumentally, aspects of shame, social isolation.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING

Happiness, satisfaction and a meaningful life

psychological_wellbeing

Happiness, overall satisfaction and satisfaction by domain, psychological wellbeing and meaning in life.

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