Category Archives: Publications

IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 5 ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty in Bangladesh using the global MPI’

This brief, focusing on Bangladesh, moves away from standard income poverty assess­ments and explores multidimensional poverty in this IsDB Member Country. It brings to light multidimensional poverty as experienced at the national and subnational levels, providing a basis by which IsDB country programmes and government policies can be crafted.

The brief highlights the nuanc­es of countries’ multidimensional poverty situations through a systematic analytical framework, bringing out, for example, variations across sub-regions, between ur­ban and rural populations, and across age groups. This brief also tracks and highlights success stories, such as in Sylhet, which made exemplary progress in reducing multidimensional poverty.

Citation: OPHI and IsDBI (2021). ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty in Bangladesh using the global MPI’, IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 5, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and IsDBI (Islamic Development Bank Institute), Oxford, UK.

Download IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 5 (2021), ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty in Bangladesh using the global MPI’.

IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 4 ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in Asia using the global MPI’

This brief, focusing on the Asia region, moves away from standard income poverty assessments and explores multidimensional poverty in seven IsDB Member Countries for which data are available. It brings to light multidimensional poverty as experienced at the national and subnational levels, providing a basis by which IsDB country programmes and government policies can be crafted.

The brief highlights the nuances of countries’ multidimensional poverty situations through a systematic analytical framework, bringing out, for example, variations across sub-regions, between urban and rural populations, and across age groups. This brief also tracks and highlights success stories, such as in Bangladesh, which made exemplary progress in reducing multidimensional poverty.

Citation: OPHI and IsDBI (2021). ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in Asia using the global MPI’, IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 4, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and IsDBI (Islamic Development Bank Institute), Oxford, UK.

Download IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 4 (2021), ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in Asia using the global MPI’.

IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 3 ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in the Africa and Latin America regions using the global MPI’

This brief, focusing on the Africa and Latin America regions, moves away from standard income poverty assessments and explores multidimensional poverty in 20 IsDB Member Countries for which data are available. It brings to light multidimensional poverty as experienced at the national and subnational levels, providing a basis by which IsDB country programmes and government policies can be crafted.

The brief highlights the nuances of countries’ multidimensional poverty situations through a systematic analytical framework, bringing out, for example, variations across sub-regions, between urban and rural populations, and across age groups.  This brief also tracks and highlights success stories, such as in Sierra Leone, which made exemplary progress in reducing multidimensional poverty.

Citation: OPHI and IsDBI (2021). ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in the Africa and Latin America regions using the global MPI’, IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 3, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and IsDBI (Islamic Development Bank Institute), Oxford, UK.

Download IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 3 (2021), ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in the Africa and Latin America regions using the global MPI’.

IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 2 ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in MENA and Europe using the global MPI’

This brief, focusing on the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA) and Europe regions, moves away from standard income poverty assess­ments and explores multidimensional poverty of 15 IsDB Member Countries for which data are available. It brings to light multidimensional poverty as experienced at the national and subnational levels, providing a basis by which IsDB country programmes and government poli­cies can be crafted.

The brief highlights the nuances of countries’ multidimensional poverty situations through a systematic analytical framework, bringing out, for exam­ple, variations across sub-regions, between urban and rural populations, and across age groups. This brief also tracks and highlights success stories, such as in Mauritania, which made exemplary progress in reducing multidimensional poverty.

Citation: OPHI and IsDBI (2021). ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in MENA and Europe using the global MPI’, IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 2, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and IsDBI (Islamic Development Bank Institute), Oxford, UK.

Download IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 2 (2021), ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries in MENA and Europe using the global MPI’.

IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 1 ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries using the global MPI’

This brief moves away from standard income poverty assessments and explores multidimensional poverty in 42 IsDB Member Countries for which data are available. It brings to light multidimensional poverty as experienced at the national and subnational levels, providing a basis by which IsDB country programmes and government policies can be crafted.

The brief highlights the nuances of countries’ multidimensional poverty situations through a systematic analytical framework, bringing out, for example, variations across sub-regions, between urban and rural populations, and across age groups. This brief also tracks and highlights success stories, such as in Bangladesh, Gambia, Mauritania, and Sierra Leone, which made exemplary progress in reducing multidimensional poverty.

Citation: OPHI and IsDBI (2021). ‘Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries using the global MPI’, IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 1. Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and IsDBI (Islamic Development Bank Institute), Oxford, UK.

Download IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 1 (2021) ”Exploring multidimensional poverty across IsDB Member Countries using the global MPI’.

India National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021: Baseline Report

India MPI 2021 cover

The India National Multidimensional Poverty Index: Baseline Report 2021 presents National, State/Union Territories and district results using data from the 2015/16 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). The data provides a starting point from which to measure the effectiveness of multi-sectoral policies in poverty reduction and for tracking progress towards target 1.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The next report will analyse the 2019/20 NFHS-5 microdata, in order to identify reductions and trends since 2015/6. The Report has been developed by NITI Aayog in consultation with 12 Line Ministries and in partnership with State governments, OPHI and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The India National MPI builds on the 10 indicators of the global MPI to add metrics on maternal health and bank account under the dimensions of health and standard of living, respectively. The results and findings of the baseline edition of India’s National Multidimensional Poverty Index are available for policy makers and administrators in States and districts, researchers and scholars, businesses and NGOs, and the wider public, so that many can use precise data to confront poverty.

Citation: NITI Aayog (2021). India National Multidimensional Poverty Index: Baseline Report. NITI Aayog, Government of India, New Delhi.

Download India National Multidimensional Poverty Index: Baseline Report 2021

Multidimensional Poverty in Sri Lanka – Policy Briefing

Sri Lanka MPI 2021 briefing

Multidimensional Poverty in Sri Lanka presents findings from the first official National MPI and Child MPI for Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka National MPI (NMPI) is the first MPI in the world to directly and fully link the measure of child poverty with national poverty, also known as the ‘drawer approach’. The individual and pioneering Child MPI for children aged 0–4, includes the same indicators as the National MPI, and adds a fourth dimension to cover undernutrition and early childhood development. This policy brief by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) in the Ministry of Economic Policies and Plan Implementation, in partnership with UNICEF and OPHI, uses data from data from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019 (HIES 2019). 

Key findings include:

National MPI:

  • Approximately one out of every six (16.0%) people in Sri Lanka are multidimensionally poor.
  • More than half (51.3%) of all people living in estate areas are living in multidimensional poverty.
  • More than eight out of every ten (80.9%) people who are poor live in rural areas.
  • People aged 65 or over are the poorest age group in Sri Lanka, with the highest incidence (17.9%) as well as intensity of poverty and MPI.

Child MPI:

  • More than four out of every ten (42.2%) children under the age of five are multidimensionally poor.
  • One third (33.4%) of children aged 0–4 years old are multidimensionally poor and either underweight or stunted.
  • One sixth (16.4%) of children aged 0–4 years old are multidimensionally poor and deprived in early child development.
  • Nearly half of children 0–11 months (46.6%) and 4 years old (47.5%) are poor, mainly due to undernutrition and not attending pre-school (respectively).
  • There are no significant differences in poverty levels between girls and boys.

Citation: DCS, OPHI and UNICEF (2021). Multidimensional Poverty in Sri Lanka. Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) of the Government of Sri Lanka, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Colombo.

Download Multidimensional Poverty in Sri Lanka Policy Briefing (PDF).
More information on poverty via the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS).


Malawi MPI report 2021

The Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index report 2021 presents the results of the first national Multidimensional Poverty Index for Malawi. The Malawi MPI has been developed to monitor the key simultaneous disadvantages that affect people living in multidimensional poverty in Malawi, and to identify social progress made towards the Malawi 2063 national vision and target 1.2 of the SDGs.

This report was produced by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the University of Malawi (Economics Department), the Centre for Social Research, the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, with technical support from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The Malawi MPI is based on data from the Fourth Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) 2016/17. This report offers a baseline for findings on multidimensional poverty and will be revised using data from the IHS5 survey (2019/20) to show changes in the levels and composition of multidimensional poverty.

 Key findings include:

  • 61.7% of Malawi’s population are multidimensionally poor.
  • The intensity of poverty is 54.6%, meaning that nationally poor people experience, on average, more than half of the weighted deprivations.
  • The MPI, which is the product of the incidence and intensity of poverty, is 0.337.
  • The indicators that contribute most to multidimensional poverty in Malawi nationally are literacy and schooling (14.9%), electricity (11.4%), and job diversity (11.3%).
  • Analysis by region shows that the incidence of multidimensional poverty is highest in the Southern region and lowest in the Northern region at 63.7 and 43.7%, respectively.
  • The incidence of multidimensional poverty is highest in rural areas at 70.0% compared to 25.7% in urban areas.

Citation: National Statistical Office (2021). Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index Report. National Statistical Office, Malawi.

Download Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index report 2021 (PDF)
Download Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index leaflet 2021 (PDF)


Using multidimensional poverty and vulnerability indices to inform equitable policies and interventions in health emergencies

Health emergencies pose serious threats to human lives and livelihoods, including immediate threats to health, survival, the economy and social life. WHO and OPHI have been collaborating to explore how the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (global MPI) and national Multidimensional Poverty or Vulnerability Indices (MPIs or MVIs) – could be or are already being used in health emergencies and to address health components of humanitarian crises.

This Research Brief provides an overview of their use, with the goal of sharing insights and lessons learned, as well as informing further exploration, based on how MPIs and MVIs have been used in Afghanistan, Colombia, Honduras, Iraq and the South Asia region during the COVID-19 pandemic. MPIs and MVIs capture the overlapping deprivations that people experience. They identify who is particularly disadvantaged or vulnerable by integrating information on the many dimensions of human development into a more holistic overall assessment, going beyond income or consumption. In particular, four ways of using multidimensional measures for health emergency preparedness, response and recovery are presented. (1) Constructing MVIs that capture overlapping vulnerabilities and provide information that identifies the most vulnerable and the main indicators increasing their vulnerability; (2) Using existing MPIs to inform the preparation for, response to and recovery from health emergencies; (3) Merging MPIs or MVIs with aggregate-level data to associate multidimensional measures with other indicators relevant in the context of health emergencies; (4) Microsimulating how people’s vulnerabilities or deprivations might be impacted by shocks, such as those associated with a health emergency. The use of multidimensional measures in the context of health emergencies is new. It is a field that invites further study, discussion and exploration.

Citation: WHO (2021). Using multidimensional poverty and vulnerability indices to inform equitable policies and interventions in health emergencies. Research brief. World Health Organization.

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Also available on WHO website.

Children and Multidimensional Poverty: Four Measurement Strategies

Empirically, official multidimensional measures of poverty often show children to be the poorest age group. Such poverty measures and their analysis can be used to directly inform policies to reduce children’s multiple deprivations. This paper introduces methods to produce official national statistics on multidimensional poverty that inform child-focused anti-poverty policies. In doing so, it recognises the importance of parsimonious, consistent measures, given practical constraints such as policy makers’ time. The paper does not recommend constructing several disjoint poverty measures which cannot be straightforwardly interpreted and used alongside one another, as these may create confusion or dilute policy attention. To create a compact and high-information measurement platform, the paper introduces four measurement strategies that have been used to directly uncover policy-relevant data on children’s experience of multidimensional poverty, and that are consistent with official population-level statistics. The four are as follows: (1) Include children’s deprivations as indicators of multidimensional poverty in national measures. (2) Disaggregate multidimensional poverty indices and their associated information platform to compare children and adults. (3) Analyse individual child deprivations and explore gendered and intra-household inequalities. (4) Construct an individual measure of child multidimensional poverty that is directly linked to the official national measure, but contains additional indicators across the life course of children. The paper illustrates these four strategies and the child-relevant statistics they yield, using examples from official poverty measures and previous research. It discusses the strengths and challenges of each method from conceptual, policy, and technical perspectives, and examines how they can be used for descriptive and prescriptive purposes in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Citation: Dirksen, J. and Alkire, S. (2021). ‘Children and multidimensional poverty: Four measurement strategies’, OPHI Working Paper 138, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

This paper has been published in Sustainability, vol. 13, issue 16, article number 9108. It is published under an open access Creative Common CC BY license; any part of the article may be reused without permission provided that the original article is cited.