World Bank Workshop on Multidimensional Poverty Measurement

The Poverty and Inequality Measurement and Analysis Practice Group

August 30th, 2010, World Bank, Washington DC

Poverty is multidimensional, and the Bank’s work reflects the importance of addressing the different dimensions of poverty. But, when talking about measurement , researchers and practitioners ask,

  • Should we try to aggregate all the different dimensions of poverty in one single indicator?
  • Is it is possible to do it in a sensible and practical way? And if so,
  • Does the aggregation in one indicator help in policy decision making?

This discussion has been around in academic circles for many years, and is now re-energized by the recent publication of a new Multidimensional Poverty Index by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, which features in this year’s UNDP’s Human Development Report. To discuss theoretical and empirical aspects of multidimensional poverty measurement, the Poverty and Inequality Measurement and Analysis Practice Group organised this workshop with:

James Foster
Professor of Economics and International Affairs, George Washington University & Research Associate for the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative, Oxford University

 

 

Sabina Alkire
Director of the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Oxford University &
Research Associate for the Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University

 

 

Maria Emma Santos
Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford & Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas-Universidad Nacional del Sur

 

 

Gonzalo Hernandez
Head of the National Evaluation Commission
CONEVAL (Mexico)

 

 

View Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos’ presentation.

Professor Foster gave a lecture on theoretical and empirical challenges of multidimensional poverty measurement. In her lecture, Sabina Alkire presented their most recent OPHI paper, with Maria Emma Santos on a new “Acute Multidimensional Poverty Indicator”; and Gonzalo Hernandez presented methodological and institutional issues faced by his team in the construction of a multidimensional indicator by CONEVAL in Mexico.

The workshop closed with a panel discussion including:

Samuel Freije, Senior Economist, Poverty and Gender, Latina America and the Caribbean (LCSPP)
Gabriel Demombynes, Senior Economist, Africa PREM, Nairobi Office (AFTP2)
Rinku Murgai, Senior Economist, South Asia PREM, Delhi Office (SASEP)
Ruslan Yemtsov, Lead Economst, Social Protection Anchor (HDNSP)
Nobuo Yoshida, Senior Economist, Poverty and Equity (PRMPR)
Peter Lanjouw, Research Manager, Development Research Group Poverty and Inequality (DECPI)
Jaime Saavedra, Acting Director, Poverty Reduction and Equity (PRMPR)

Read the full meeting agenda here.

The Poverty and Inequality Measurement and Analysis Practice Group, coordinated by PREM’s Poverty Reduction and Equity Unit and DEC’s Poverty and Inequality Unit, meets regularly under the auspices of the Poverty Reduction Board. Members of the Practice Group discuss technical issues of poverty measurement and poverty analysis, and challenges that poverty economists across the Bank confront in their analytical and technical assistance work with their client countries.

OPHI Director Sabina Alkire presenting to World Bank workshop on Multidimensional Poverty Measurement
OPHI Director Sabina Alkire presenting to World Bank workshop on Multidimensional Poverty Measurement