Category Archives: Special Publications

Interlinkages Between Multidimensional Poverty and Electricity

Nearly a billion people living in developing countries still lack access to electricity, which is essential to power modern economies, healthcare and education. More than half of those without power today are children under 18, undermining their opportunity to ready, study or play after sunset. In a quarter of the subnational regions covered by the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), electricity as a basic commodity is absent for two-thirds or more of the population.

‘Interlinkages between multidimensional poverty and electricity: a study using the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)’ extends the analysis of global MPI microdata to explore the interlinkages between deprivation in electricity and other indicators related to health, education and living standards. The analysis identifies the most common simultaneous deprivations that people who are also electricity deprived experience in their everyday lives. It also looks at the relationship between electricity and poverty and economic development, measured using a multidimensional approach. The report identifies the distinctive profile of those who are poor and deprived in electricity, as well as examining a subset of countries to understand improvement in electricity access over time.

The findings of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative’s report show the interlinkages between electricity and multiple indicators of poverty, making the case for universal electrification as a path for more rapid and inclusive economic development.

Download the Interlinkages between Multidimensional Poverty and Electricity report

Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index 2012

Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints limiting further inclusion in agriculture.

The WEAI measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector in an effort to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraints. The Index is a significant innovation in its field and aims to increase understanding of the connections between women’s empowerment, food security, and agricultural growth.

The WEAI is a composite measurement tool that indicates women’s control over critical parts of their lives in the household, community, and economy. It allows us to identify women who are disempowered and understand how to increase autonomy and decision-making in key domains. It is also a useful tool for tracking progress toward gender equality, which is one of the Millennium Development Goals.

OPHI collaborated with USAID and the IFPRI to develop the innovative index.

Download the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index 2012 brochure.

Measuring Progress Toward Empowerment – Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index: Baseline Report

The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) is a ground-breaking tool to measure the empowerment, agency and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector.

Launched in March 2012 by OPHI with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the WEAI tracks women’s engagement in agriculture in five areas: production, resources, income, leadership, and time use. Unlike any other tool, it also measures women’s empowerment relative to men within their households, providing a more robust understanding of gender dynamics within households and communities.

Read more about WEAI
Download the WEAIL Baseline Report 2014

COVID-19 y la Pobreza Multidimensional en Republica Dominicana: Simulación del Efecto de la Pandemia en la Pobreza Multidimensional en República Dominicana

This report (in Spanish) presents simulations of the possible impacts of COVID-19 on multidimensional poverty in the Dominican Republic. The report uses the official Multidimensional Poverty Index for the Dominican Republic (IPM-RD), which was launched in 2017 and updated in 2020. The report examines six possible scenarios of how a change in indicator deprivations could affect the MPI. The deprivations examined are: 1) access to health services in the event of illness, 2) health insurance, 3) access to food, 4) school attendance or dropout, 5) family support and 6) informality. For each scenario, the analysis considers three possible magnitudes: mild (25%), moderate (50%) and severe (75%). In all scenarios and magnitudes, an increase in the incidence of multidimensional poverty is observed and the estimated effect is statistically significant. The three major effects on multidimensional poverty are related to the increase in deprivation of access to medical services due to illness, followed by family support and school attendance.

Download the Dominican Republic report here.

Global MPI 2020 – Charting pathways out of multidimensional poverty: Achieving the SDGs

The joint OPHI and UNDP global MPI report, Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020 – Charting Pathways out of Multidimensional Poverty: Achieving the SDGs, presents the key findings of the global MPI 2020 and the first comprehensive study of harmonized MPI trends, also known as Changes over Time, indicating that 65 out of 75 countries reduced MPI significantly.

It explores whether before the pandemic countries were on or off track to halve multidimensional poverty by 2030 – a challenge set by SDG 1 – and finds 47 countries were on track. In the context of the current pandemic, the report simulates possible impacts of COVID-19 on multidimensional poverty, finding that, if unaddressed, it could set progress back by up to a decade. Finally, linkages between the global MPI and other SDG indicators related to climate, work, immunization, higher education, and urban/rural areas bring together multiple perspectives on pressing issues in development. Our analysis covers the significant progress in poverty reduction made by some countries in the past twenty years, but it is clear that decisive action is needed more than ever to sustain progress and ensure no one is left behind.

Citation: UNDP and OPHI (2020). Global Multidimensional Poverty index 2020 – Charting Pathways out of Multidimensional Poverty: Achieving the SDGs. Report. Unite Nations Development Programme and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

Download the English version of the Global MPI 2020 report Charting pathways out of multidimensional poverty: Achieving the SDGs

Download the French version of the Global MPI 2020 report Tracer la voie hors de la pauvreté multidimensionnelle: réaliser les Objectifs de développement durable

Download the Spanish version of the Global MPI 2020 report Trazar caminos para salir de la pobreza multidimensional: Lograr los ODS

Multi-Dimensional Poverty Profile in Palestine, 2017

This report presents the findings of the national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for the State of Palestine. The Palestinian MPI was developed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) with technical support from the National Team for Poverty Combating and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

This report is the first that addresses multidimensional poverty in the State of Palestine, and responds to a decree issued by the Palestinian Council of Ministers to evaluate multidimensional poverty within the preparation framework for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Palestinian National Policy Agenda (NPA).

The Palestinian MPI consists of seven dimensions tailored to the particular context of Palestine. Six of these dimensions comprise the social well-being component and cover 21 indicators in education, health, employment, housing conditions and access to services, safety and use of assets, and personal freedom. A seventh dimension—monetary poverty—captures economic well-being using the national poverty line. The Palestinian MPI uses 2016/17 PECS survey data with substantial revisions on the household part of the instrument.

Key findings based on 2016/2017 data include:

  • The overall incidence of multidimensional poverty was 24%, which is slightly lower than the monetary poverty line (29%).
  • In terms of incidence, multidimensional poverty in the Gaza Strip is four times (45%) as prevalent as in the West Bank (11%).
  • The intensity of multidimensional poverty in Palestine is 42.4%. People in poverty face on average 42.4% of the weighted sum of indicators. The disparity in incidence between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is not reflected in the intensity of poverty which is 43.3% in the Gaza Strip and 40.0% in the West Bank.
  • Overall, the MPI is 0.102. This sets a baseline for future comparisons.
  • Poverty is more severe in refugee camps than in urban and rural areas. The incidence of poverty is 39% in refugee camps, whereas it is 14% in rural areas and 24% in urban areas. 

Read more and download the report here.

National Multidimensional Poverty in Maldives 2020

National Multidimensional Poverty in Maldives 2020

This report presents the findings of the national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for Maldives. The Maldives MPI was developed by the National Bureau of Statistics in partnership with the UNICEF Regional Office South Asia (ROSA) and UNICEF Maldives with technical support from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The results are based on data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) 2016/17. The Maldives MPI tracks eight indicators relating to three dimensions: health, education and information, and living standards.

The MPI provides a tool to coordinate the efforts of multisectoral agencies working towards reducing inequality and poverty in the Strategic Action Plan 2019–2023, which is now being implemented in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Key findings based on data 2016/2017 include:

  • The incidence of poverty (H) in Maldives was 28%, and the average intensity (A) was 51%.The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which is the product of H and A, was 0.145.
  • In Maldives, more people were living in multidimensional poverty (28%) than monetary poverty (8% were living below the poverty line of MVR 74).
  • The report indicates that 87% of people who are multidimensionally poor were living in the Atolls, but only 13% on the populous capital island of Male’.
  • At the national level, years of schooling contributed the most to overall poverty in Maldives at 19%, and access to health contributed 16%.
  • Children have been bearing the greatest burden of poverty and have a higher likelihood of being multidimensionally poorer than any other age group, with one third of 0–17 year olds living in MPI poor households.

Download the Maldives report.

Multidimensional Poverty Index Report 2019: Seychelles

This report presents the findings of the national MPI for Seychelles. The Seychelles MPI was developed by the Poverty Alleviation Department and the National Bureau of Statistics of Seychelles with technical support from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). As a high-income country, and a Small Island Developing State, the challenges faced by Seychelles in poverty reduction are different from other contexts. Seychelles’ MPI, which includes innovative indicators on obesity, substance abuse and crime, can help policymakers identify those being left behind and target their programmes more effectively.

Key findings include:

  • In the third quarter of 2019, the poverty incidence (H) was 11.88%, and the average intensity (A) was 33.26%. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which is the product of H and A (H*A) was 0.040.
  • Those living in the largest households may be more likely to experience multidimensional poverty (with a headcount ratio of 31.15%), than those living in the smallest households (with a headcount ratio of 4.89%).
  • Multidimensional poverty is more prevalent among the unemployed (with a headcount ratio of 57.35%), than among those who are employed and those who are outside the labour force. 
  • The lower the education level (no schooling), the higher the headcount ratio (34.58%). The same pattern can be observed in the MPI, whereby those with no schooling, has the highest MPI (0.115), and the MPI decreases as the education level increases.

Download the Seychelles report here.

Multidimensional Poverty in Chhattisgarh: A Measure for Action

This briefing provides an overview of multidimensional poverty in the state of Chhattisgarh in India. According to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), Chhattisgarh had a dramatic reduction in multidimensional poverty. Ongoing policy investments will continue that remarkable trend.

  • From 2005/6 to 2015/16, the multidimensional poverty rate was cut from 70% to 37%, bringing 7 million people out of poverty.
  • The MPI for Chhattisgarh was more than halved (from 0.355 to 0.153) during that decade.
  • In 2005/6 it was the fifth poorest state; in 2015/16 it had improved to seventh poorest.
  • Huge strides were made in reducing undernutrition, inadequate sanitation, solid cooking fuel, housing materials, and assets. All 10 MPI indicators had significant reductions.
  • The changes were pro-poorest. Those living in rural areas, children, and members of Scheduled Tribes are the poorest groups, and all these groups reduced MPI the fastest. They are not being left behind but are catching up.
  • Yet in 2015/16, 37% of people – 11 million – were still MPI poor, and 93% of these live in rural areas and 5.1 million were members of Scheduled Tribes. One quarter of poor people are children under 10 years of age.
  • District-level poverty varies. The poorest districts are Bastar, Narayanpur, and Dakshin Bastar Dantewada.
  • Ending multidimensional poverty requires integrated investments in nutrition (especially for children), improved housing materials, clean energy, and adequate sanitation.

Download the briefing here.