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Global Multidimensional Poverty Index


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).


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.

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