Category Archives: Special Publications

Meta-Analysis of the impact and lessons learned for implementation of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme in Turkey (2016–20). Part 2: Focus Areas 2 and 3

OPHI and the World Food Programme analysed the impact on multidimensional poverty of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme for refugees in Turkey, one of the largest humanitarian cash transfer schemes in the world. This report develops a tailor-made refugee Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and then uses it to assess the impact of the programme on beneficiaries, demonstrating an important application of the MPI for designing more effective poverty reduction programmes.

This report was commissioned by WFP with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

Citation: OPHI and WFP (2022). Meta-Analysis of the impact and lessons learned for implementation of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme in Turkey (2016–20). Part 2: Focus Areas 2 and 3, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and World Food Programme (WFP).

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A Multidimensional Vulnerability Index for the Maldives in times of Covid-19

A Multidimensional Vulnerability Index for the Maldives in times of Covid-19

This report by the Maldives Bureau of Statistics analyses the vulnerability of the population of Maldives to poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic using a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).

The MVI identifies the vulnerable population who face more than three vulnerabilities to COVID-19, shows where these vulnerable groups live, and which deprivations increase their vulnerability. The MVI is, thus, a policy tool to direct action towards the most needed groups during COVID-19.

The index is based on data from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019 (HIES 2019) and includes five dimensions measured at the household level: education, employment, health, housing and basic services. These dimensions have been selected to include the dimensions captured in the Maldives’ national MPI (launched in 2020 and based on 2016 data), and also to capture the impact of the pandemic on households.

Key findings include:

  • 29.4% of the population is multidimensionally vulnerable to poverty and experiences, on average, close to half of the weighted deprivations (47.6%). The overall MVI is 0.140.
  • Multidimensionally vulnerable individuals face the highest levels of deprivation in access to safe drinking water; living in a household with at least one youth who is not in education, employment or training (NEET); and, access to improved sanitation, followed by access to internet or IT assets.
  • 50% of the population living in the Atolls and 7% of the population in Male’ are vulnerable. The profile of overlapping deprivations in the Atolls and Male’ share some attributes, but are not the same. For instance, the dimension of basic services contributes the most to overall vulnerability in the Atolls, whereas the opposite is true in Male’.
  • Children under 18 years old and the elderly aged 65 and above are the most multidimensionally vulnerable age groups.
  • Households with any member living with disabilities experience significantly higher levels of multidimensional vulnerability than households without any member living with disabilities.

Citation: MBS (2022). A Multidimensional Vulnerability Index for the Maldives in Times of Covid-19. Maldives Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure. Maldives.

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Visit Maldives Bureau of Statistics website

Measuring Rural Poverty with Multidimensional Approach

Measuring Rural Poverty with a Multidimensional Approach: The Rural Multidimensional Poverty Index

Evidence indicates that poverty worldwide is concentrated in rural areas, and that agriculture is central to the livelihoods and food security of these population groups. This extended and jointly authored report with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) articulates a conceptual framework for measuring multidimensional poverty in rural areas, and develops a rural Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).

The rural MPI is applied to four countries – Malawi, Ethiopia, Niger and Nigeria – and presents exciting new insights relevant for policymakers, academics and practitioners working on rural poverty alleviation.

The first part of the report proposes a framework for measuring multidimensional poverty in rural areas and describes the motivation for the Rural Multidimensional Poverty Index (R-MPI) proposal, which departs from the established global Multidimensional Poverty Index (global MPI), first designed in 2010 as an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries, by adding modifications in the dimensions and embedded indicators. The second part of this report presents an empirical test of the proposed R-MPI, using data from four household surveys conducted in Ethiopia, Malawi, the Niger, and Nigeria which are harmonized within the Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS).

Citation: FAO and OPHI (2022). Measuring Rural Poverty with a Multidimensional Approach: The Rural Multidimensional Poverty Index. FAO Statistical Development Series, No. 19. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

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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.

Global MPI 2021 – Unmasking disparities by ethnicity, caste and gender

The joint OPHI and UNDP global MPI report, Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 – Unmasking disparities by ethnicity, caste and gender, presents the key findings of the global MPI 2021. The analyses:

  • Provide estimates on multidimensional poverty for 109 developing countries (with data from surveys ranging 2009–2019/2020);
  • Include trends over time for 80 countries, for a range of periods between 2000–2019/2020;
  • Present multidimensional poverty estimates disaggregated by ethnicity and caste for 41 countries to identify who is – and how people are – being left behind;
  • Explore intrahousehold analysis with a gender lens;
  • Reveal how multidimensional poverty could amplify the impacts of COVID-19 shocks, hurting education, employment and livelihood.

Citation: UNDP and OPHI (2021). Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 – Unmasking disparities by ethnicity, caste and gender. United Nations Development Programme and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

Download the English version of the Global MPI 2021 report Unmasking disparities by ethnicity, caste and gender.

Download the French version of the Global MPI 2021 report L’indice global de pauvreté multidimensionnelle 2021
Lever le voile sur les disparités selon l’appartenance ethnique, la caste et le genre.

Download the Spanish version of the Global MPI 2021 report Índice de Pobreza Multidimensional global 2021: Desvelar las disparidades de etnia, casta y género.

Download the ethnicity tables ‘Multidimensional Poverty Index results by ethnic group 2021’.

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