Pakistan signs agreement to develop a national Multidimensional Poverty Index

OPHI,-UNDP,-Pakistan-signing-WEBPakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and OPHI have signed an agreement to develop a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for Pakistan.

The signing marks the beginning of the process of regularly calculating a new poverty index for Pakistan which will be based on the Alkire Foster method developed at OPHI. This method underlies the Global MPI, an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries which has been calculated by OPHI and published in UNDP’s flagship Human Development Report since 2010.

At the signing, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal (pictured centre, above) said: “The traditional one-dimensional indices cannot reflect the true poverty levels in Pakistan. The MPI is more comprehensive, integrated and holistic as it covers education, health and living standards. This partnership between the Government, UNDP and University of Oxford will help us understand, and better address issues related to poverty in Pakistan.”

A comprehensive national report on multidimensional poverty at the district and provincial level is being prepared using Pakistan Social & Living Standard Measurement (PSLM) survey data for the last four to five years, the Dawn newspaper reported. Pakistan’s MPI will enable policymakers to ‘develop robust revenue-sharing formulas for the National Finance Commission and provincial NFC awards for allocation of resources to provinces and districts’, it said.

Marc-André Franche, UNDP Country Director in Pakistan (pictured left, above), said: “The MPI is crucial for policymaking and improving the targeting of social policy. It is vital to develop a robust revenue formula, improve policy design and monitor effectiveness of policy over time. Each country needs to choose dimensions that are most important for measuring poverty. In Pakistan, this is the first step for measuring the multidimensional poverty both at the federal and provincial levels and UNDP is extremely pleased to be part of this process.”

Islamabad-training-WEBThe signing followed a 10-day training course on the AF method at the Pakistan Planning and Management Institute in Islamabad (pictured right), which was run by OPHI’s Director Sabina Alkire (pictured right in the photo above) with researchers Adriana Conconi and Moizza Sarwar.

In addition to the report in the Dawn newspaper, the signing was covered by The News, The Hindu, The Express Tribune, The Nation, Pakistan Today and the Business Recorder.