ODI’s Development Progress launched a debate in May about how poverty should be measured in a post-2015 framework. Alongside Alkire’s blog, the May newsletter features posts by Martin Ravallion, the Edmond D. Villani Professor of Economics at Georgetown University, Washington DC; Lant Pritchett, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development and Professor of the Practice of International Development (on leave) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; and Stephan Klasen, Professor of Development Economics and Empirical Economic Research at the University of Göttingen.
Ravallion’s blog argues that a new poverty target should continue to be based on a $1.25/day poverty line alongside a ‘weakly relative’ poverty line, so that absolute poverty is given primacy but relative poverty is also taken into account. Pritchett’s post makes the case for higher international poverty lines, while Klasen’s blog focuses on internationally coordinated national poverty lines, based on consistent measurement of poverty at the national level.
Alkire’s blog drew attention to the mismatch between income poverty and other dimensions of poverty, noting that research shows that trends in $1.25/day income poverty and multidimensional poverty do not move in lockstep (see Alkire and Roche, 2013).
Alkire makes the case for a measure based on the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which would complement an income poverty measure by revealing the simultaneous disadvantages in health, education and living standards a person is experiencing. Alkire recently co-authored a briefing on ‘Multidimensional Poverty and the Post-2015 MDGs’ with OPHI Research Associate Andy Sumner, Co-Director of the King’s International Development Institute at King’s College London.