Category Archives: workshop

OPHI Workshop on Weighting in Multidimensional Poverty Measures, 26-27 May 2008

In constructing multidimensional poverty measures, it is possible to apply weights a) in aggregating variables within one dimension; b) in aggregating across dimensions; c) in aggregating across people. At each point of aggregation, we need to determine the parameters that define the marginal contribution of each indicator, dimension, or individual to the overall well-being (or deprivation), taking into consideration also the possible interconnections among them.

OPHI’s May 2008 workshop will consider a number of techniques to set weights for multidimensional measures. These include:

  • Participatory and expert-based approaches;
  • Survey-based methods to elicit directly people’s preferences (standard gamble, visual analogues, and willingness to pay) or making use of subjective-well-being surveys;
  • Statistical methods (factor analysis, principal component, and latent variable models, and data enveloping analysis).

The overall goal of the workshop is to identify the technical and conceptual strengths and weaknesses of each weighting technique, to clarify which techniques are best suited to set weights in which contexts of multidimensional poverty measurement, and how such weights are to be verified. A related theme, also explored, will be the robustness tests directed to assess the sensibility of results to different weights within a given technique and across methods.

Working Papers on weighting (short titles):
WP 26: Robustness test. By Foster, McGillivray, and Seth. August 2008. (coming soon)
WP 25: Willingness-to-pay and the equivalent approach. By Fleurbaey.
WP 24: Deriving weights for the Index of Multiple Deprivation… Watson, Sutton, Dibben, and Ryan.
WP 23: The impact of changing weights… Dibben, Atherton, Cox, Watson, Ryan, and Sutton.
WP 22: Restricted and Unrestricted Hierarchy of Weights. By Esposito and Chiappero-Martinetti.
WP 21: Characterizing weights in Multidimensional Poverty measures…. Mom Njong & Ningaye
WP 20: What good is happiness? By Fleurbaey, Schokkaert, and Decancq.
WP 19: Expert opinion and participatory approaches to weighting. Clark and Alkire.
WP 18: Setting weights in multidimensional indices of well-being. Decancq and Lugo.

Presenters and discussants: Sabina Alkire, Ricardo Aparicio, Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, David Clark, Koen Decanq, Stefan Dercon, Chris Dibben, Jean-Luc Dubois, Marc Fleurbaey, James Foster, Jaya Krishnakumar, Maria Ana Lugo, Esfandiar Maasoumi, Aloysius Mom Njong, Michael Noble, Kevin Roberts, Kim Samuel-Johnson, Erik Schokkaert, Suman Seth, Erik Thorbecke, Verity Watson, Gemma Wright

Participants: Paul Anand, Marth Hoskins, Maria Emma Santos, Sebastian Silva Leander, Randy Spence, Gaston Yalonetzky

OPHI gratefully acknowledges support from the International Development Research Council (IDRC) Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); and the Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University for this event.

Open Dialogue with OPHI, 16 June 2008

Multidimensional Poverty Measures – Preliminary Explorations, 16 June 2008

Open Dialogue with OPHI, 16 June 2008

This paper contains powerpoints and papers that apply multidimensional poverty measurement in different contexts

Most countries of the world define poverty by income. Yet poor people themselves define their poverty much more broadly—to include lack of education, health, empowerment, employment, personal security and more. Do these differences matter?

OPHI researchers presented results of work in progress on Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, China, India, and Bhutan. In each of these cases, OPHI researchers use existing data to compare income poverty with a new multidimensional poverty measure (Alkire & Foster Working Paper 7) and explore the value added.

Where: Seminar Room 2, Dept of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford

When: June 16th, 2008
10:00-11:00 Session I: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement: Methodology

Brief welcome and overview: Sabina Alkire, OPHI Director

Multidimensional Poverty Measurement: James Foster, Research Associate, Presenting (powerpoint)

Discussant: Sudhir Anand, Advisor

11:00-11:15 Coffee

11:15-12:15 Session II: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement : Applications

Chair : Valpy FitzGerald

India: Sabina Alkire & Suman Seth Presentation Paper

China: Jiantuo Yu Presentation

Bhutan: Maria Emma Santos & Karma Ura Presentation Paper

Sub-Saharan Africa: Yele Batana, Presentation Paper

Latin America: Maria Ana Lugo & Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva Presentation

12 :15-1 :00pm  Discussion

1:00 pm Informal Lunch

OPHI Workshop on Multidimensional Measures in Six Contexts, 1-2 June 2009

Spaces are extremely limited so resources from this workshop will be made available on this webpage. We encourage comments and suggestions by email.

Multidimensional measures aggregate information on diverse attributes into a common tool of assessment. Such measures are widely used both by public and private sector institutions and perform a multiplicity of purposes. These include describing complex achievements (often to track changes over time, or to compare with others), targeting inputs, or monitoring and evaluating progress. However, the use of a specific multidimensional index entails many decisions regarding details of the measure, and these are often made in isolation from those developing measures in other contexts.

OPHI’s June 2009 small, high-level research workshop will examine several multidimensional measures used in six specific contexts – including the multidimensional poverty methodology developed by OPHI – to critically compare them, identify commonalities, advantages and disadvantages of different methodologies, and isolate shared weaknesses for which new methodologies should be developed.

The six contexts are: quality of education, child and youth poverty, governance and political freedom, fair trade, gender, and targeting of social programmes.

Most measures presented will:

  1. aggregate first across dimensions, and second (if at all) across people or institutions;
  2. identify good performance by applying a poverty line or a benchmark;
  3. employ at least some ordinal data;
  4. inform policy.

Despite the fact that our six measures vary both in unit of analysis and in relevant dimensions, the methodologies can be compared with respect to how they:

  • Normalize each indicator
  • Weight the different indicators within a measure
  • Compare across units and within units over time
  • Compute the indicators’ measurement error
  • Use cardinal and/or ordinal data with varying scale-ranges in a meaningful way
  • Identify the policy implications of the measure
  • Satisfy certain basic properties and axioms
  • Represent interactions between the constituent indicators

The workshop will have one to three presentations on each of the six areas. These will be thoroughly probed by a discussant, fostering a broader discussion among the whole group of participants. This sort of exchange may help to start building a consensus towards the desirable characteristics of this kind of multidimensional measurement methodologies, to raise awareness of techniques others use to address similar problems, to potentially strengthen certain existing measures, and to identify gaps for further methodological research.

OPHI was launched in 2007. This workshop represents an extension of its research on multidimensional poverty measurement to engage methodologies used in other contexts.

OPHI Workshop on ‘Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data’, 16th Aug 2009

Durban, 16 August, 2009

On 16 August, OPHI conducted a workshop on the Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data in Durban, South Africa prior to the opening of the 57th session of the International Statistics Institute (ISI). The ISI has as its objective ‘to promote the understanding, development, and good practice of statistics worldwide’ and assembled more than 3,000 delegates over six days. OPHI took advantage of the ISI meetings to invite participants to attend a workshop to discuss OPHI’s survey modules and their relevance to understanding poverty in Africa, potential policy implications, and how the work of OPHI might be taken further in the region. OPHI is eager to become more involved in Africa and to test these modules in at least one African country.

OPHI researcher Emma Samman attended the ISI meetings and discussed OPHI’s approach with statisticians from a number of African countries, many of whom expressed a strong interest. Based on these discussions in South Africa, OPHI anticipates undertaking a survey based on the missing dimensions modules in an African country in the short term.