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Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

Context:

Recently, the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2023 has been released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy (Growth and Development)

Dimensions of the article:

  1. What is multidimensional poverty?
  2. Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)
  3. Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)
  4. Key Highlights of the Index

What is multidimensional poverty?

  • Multidimensional poverty refers to the multiple deprivations that poor people face on a daily basis, such as poor health, a lack of education, insufficient living standards, disempowerment, low employment quality, the fear of violence, and living in ecologically hazardous places, to name a few.
  • In order to formulate policies aiming at alleviating poverty and hardship in a nation, a multidimensional measure of poverty might include a variety of indicators that represent the complexity of this phenomenon.

Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

  • Multidimensional Poverty Indices use a range of indicators to calculate a summary poverty figure for a given population, in which a larger figure indicates a higher level of poverty.
  • This figure considers both the proportion of the population that is deemed poor, and the ‘breadth’ of poverty experienced by these ‘poor’ households, following the Alkire & Foster ‘counting method’.
The Alkire-Foster ‘counting method’
  • The Alkire-Foster (AF) method is a way of measuring multidimensional poverty developed by OPHI, which involves counting the different types of deprivation that individuals experience at the same time, such as a lack of education or employment, or poor health or living standards.
Positives and Criticism
  • MPI advocates state that the method can be used to create a comprehensive picture of people living in poverty, and permits comparisons both across countries, regions and the world and within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural location, as well as other key household and community characteristics.
  • MPIs are useful as an analytical tool to identify the most vulnerable people – the poorest among the poor, revealing poverty patterns within countries and over time, enabling policy makers to target resources and design policies more effectively.
  • Critics of this methodology have pointed out that changes to cut-offs and thresholds, as well as the indicators included and weightings attributed to them can change MPI scores and the resulting poverty evaluation.

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

  • The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme and uses health, education and standard of living indicators to determine the incidence and intensity of poverty experienced by a population.
  • The Global MPI is released Annually by UNDP and OPHI and the results published in their websites.
  • The index is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations.
Parameters

Global MPI is computed by assigning scores for each surveyed household on 10 parameters.

  • Nutrition,
  • Child mortality,
  • Years of schooling,
  • School attendance,
  • Cooking fuel,
  • Sanitation,
  • Drinking water,
  • Electricity,
  • Housing,
  • Household assets.

Key Highlights of the Index:

  • Globally, 1.1 billion people (18% of the total population) are acutely multidimensionally poor across 110 countries.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa has 534 million poor and South Asia has 389 million, accounting for the majority of global poverty.
  • Children under 18 years old make up half of the MPI-poor population, with a poverty rate of 27.7%.
  • India has more than 230 million people living in poverty, and around 18.7% of the population falls under the category of vulnerability.
  • India has made significant progress in poverty reduction, with 415 million people escaping poverty between 2005-06 and 2019-21.
  • The incidence of poverty in India declined from 55.1% in 2005/2006 to 16.4% in 2019/2021.
  • India has shown improvement in deprivation indicators related to health, education, and standard of living.
  • Poverty reduction has been observed across regions and socio-economic groups, with the poorest states and groups experiencing the fastest progress.
  • Recommendations include the need for context-specific multidimensional poverty indices that align with national definitions of poverty to better understand and address poverty at the country level.

-Source: Down To Earth

 


June 2024
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