A Multi-Country Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty in Contexts of Forced Displacement

OPHI Working Papers

Despite the many simultaneous deprivations faced by forcibly displaced communities, such as food insecurity, inadequate housing, or lack of access to education, there is little research on the level and composition of multidimensional poverty among them, and how it might differ from that of host communities. Relying on household survey data from selected areas of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan, this paper proposes a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) that captures the overlapping deprivations experienced by poor individuals in contexts of displacement. Using the MPI, the paper presents multi-country descriptive analysis to explore the relationships between multidimensional poverty, displacement status, and gender of the household head. The results reveal significant differences across displaced and host communities in all countries except Nigeria. In Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan, female-headed households have higher MPIs, while in Somalia, those living in male-headed households are more likely to be identified as multidimensionally poor. Lastly, the paper examines mismatches and overlaps in the identification of the poor by the MPI and the $1.90/day poverty line, confirming the need for complementary measures when assessing deprivations among people in contexts of displacement.

Citation: Admasu, Y, Alkire, S, Ekhator-Mobayode, U.E., Kovesdi, F., Santamaria, J. and Scharlin-Pettee, S. (2022). ‘A multi-country analysis of multidimensional poverty in contexts of forced displacement’, OPHI Working Paper 140, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

This paper has previously been published in World Bank’s Policy Research Working Papers series (No. 9826): Admasu, Yeshwas; Alkire, Sabina; Ekhator-Mobayode, Uche Eseosa; Kovesdi, Fanni; Santamaria, Julieth; Scharlin-Pettee, Sophie. 2021. A Multi-Country Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty in Contexts of Forc­ed Displacement. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 9826. World Bank, Washington, DC. ©World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

forced displacement, multidimensional poverty, monetary poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa, refugee, IDP, internal displacement, gender inequality, female-headed households
Sub-Saharan Africa
South Sudan


Yeshwas Admasu, Sabina Alkire, Uche Eseosa Ekhator-Mobayode, Fanni Kovesdi, Julieth Santamaria and Sophie Scharlin-Pettee

Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
JEL Codes
I32, J16, D63, D10, D74, O55
Publication Number
WP 140