Head of ECLAC comments on Colombia’s new poverty measure

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), has written in support of Colombia’s official new Mutlidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which has been developed using a technique developed by OPHI for measuring poverty and wellbeing:

“Colombia is one of the few Latin American countries, along with Mexico, to have official poverty figures based on a multidimensional approach, in addition to the more widespread monetary poverty measurements. Having two complementary methods for gauging the extent of poverty is praiseworthy.

“The traditional monetary method, which defines poverty as the lack of income, is useful to the extent that income is the main means for satisfying a wide array of basic needs. Nevertheless, not all dimensions of welfare may be well represented by income or the lack of it, so the multidimensional approach fills that gap by combining indicators for multiple kinds of deprivations. “

The new MPI-Colombia has been launched alongside a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy, mirroring the dimensions used in the measure. The MPI-Colombia is the first in the world to be tied to a binding poverty plan and is constructed using an innovative adaptation of the Alkire-Foster method, developed by OPHI. Read Alicia Bárcena’s comments on the MPI-Colombia and read more about Colombia’s new multidimensional poverty measure.