OPHI special issue of Social Indicators Research published in full

A special issue of Social Indicators Research (Volume 112, Issue 2, June 2013), edited by OPHI Director Sabina Alkire and OPHI Research Associate Maria Emma Santos and featuring a number of articles by OPHI researchers, has been published in full online.

The articles in ‘A Multidimensional Approach: Poverty Measurement and Beyond’ apply the Alkire Foster method of measuring multidimensional poverty to a range of different contexts. The introduction describes the AF methodology, and is available to read here.

Alkire and Suman Seth’s OPHI Working Paper 53 has been published as ‘Targeting Methods to Identify BPL Households in India.’ The paper proposes how to select a methodology to target multidimensionally poor households, and how to update that targeting exercise periodically. In 1992, 1997, and 2002 the Indian government identified households that are below the poverty line (BPL) and in updating the 2002 methodology, alternative methods have been proposed and vigorously debated. Using the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), this paper illustrates how a BPL targeting method using Socio Economic Caste Census variables might be calibrated to a multidimensional poverty measure.

Diego Battiston, Guillermo Cruces, Luis Felipe Lopez Calva, Maria Ana Lugo and Maria Emma Santos’s OPHI Working Paper 17 has been published as ‘Income and Beyond: Multidimensional Poverty in Six Latin American Countries.’ This paper studies multidimensional poverty for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay for the period 1992–2006. The approach overcomes the limitations of the two traditional methods of poverty analysis in Latin America (income-based and unmet basic needs) by combining income with five other dimensions: school attendance for children, education of the household head, sanitation, water and shelter.

Also featured in the issue is José Manuel Roche’s OPHI Working Paper 57‘Monitoring Progress in Child Poverty Reduction: Methodological Insights and Illustration to the Case Study of Bangladesh.’ The paper presents a new approach to monitoring progress in child poverty reduction accompanied by an assessment of child poverty reduction in Bangladesh. The empirical evidence in the paper highlights the need to move beyond the headcount ratio towards new measures of child poverty that reflect the intensity of poverty and multiple deprivations that affect poor children at the same time.

Yélé Maweki Batana’s OPHI Working Paper 13 has been published as ‘Multidimensional Measurement of Poverty among Women in Sub-Saharan Africa.’ The paper estimates multidimensional poverty among women in 14 Sub-Saharan African countries using the Alkire Foster method. The estimates are compared with alternative measures such as the Human Development Index, income poverty, asset poverty and the Gender-related Development Index. It is found that including additional dimensions into the analysis leads to country rankings different from those obtained with these four measures.

Viviane Azevedo and Marcos Robles’ OPHI Research in Progress 20a has been published as ‘Multidimensional Targeting: Identifying Beneficiaries of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programs.’ This paper proposes a multidimensional targeting approach to identifying beneficiaries, which explicitly takes into consideration the multiple objectives of CCTs and the multiple deprivations of poor households. Results indicate that the proposed multidimensional targeting methodology significantly improves the selection of households with children who are most deprived in the dimensions often relevant to CCTs. In the case of Mexico’s Oportunidades, ex-ante evaluation results indicate that the multidimensional identification of beneficiaries increases the impact of transfers on school attendance, compared to alternative targeting models.

The complete OPHI special issue of SIR is available to view here.