Chapter four of OPHI’s book on multidimensional poverty measurement published as working paper

The fourth chapter of OPHI’s forthcoming book, ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis’, is now available to download as a working paper.

The book provides an in-depth account of multidimensional poverty measurement, with a particular focus on the Alkire Foster method. It is aimed at graduate students in quantitative social sciences, researchers of poverty measurement, and technical staff in governments and international agencies.

In chapter four, the authors review applications of counting approaches in the history of poverty measurement. A counting approach is one way to identify the poor in multidimensional poverty measurement, which entails the intuitive procedure of counting the number of dimensions in which people suffer deprivation. The chapter focuses on empirical studies since the late ‘70s, which developed relatively independently of each other in two regions. In Latin America, applications of the Unsatisfied Basic Needs Approach were widespread, often using census and survey data. European work drew on concepts of social exclusion and inclusion, and now includes national and European initiatives.

‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement & Analysis’, by Sabina Alkire, James Foster, Suman Seth, Maria Emma Santos, José  Manuel Roche and Paola Ballon, will be published in hardcopy in June 2015 and can be pre-ordered from Oxford University Press.

Read chapter four

Chapter four is available to download as OPHI working paper number 85: ‘Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: Chapter 4 – Counting Approaches: Definitions, Origins, and Implementations’. It will also be published electronically on the book website,, in early 2015.

Further information

Chapter one of the book has been published online and is also available to download as an OPHI working paper.

Chapters two and three are available to download as OPHI working papers and will be published electronically in early 2015.

Electronic versions of all chapters will be made available on ahead of hardcopy publication, along with related study and teaching resources.

Find out more about the book.