The Chilean government have announced that they plan to launch a national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in 2015. Ahead of the launch, the country’s national press is leading a discussion of multidimensional poverty measurement, and interviews with both Sabina Alkire and James Foster have been published in major newspapers.
Interest was sparked through last week’s seminar organised by the Ministry for Social Development and the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Social Cohesion (COES), at which Sabina Alkire and James Foster spoke. At the seminar the Chilean Under-Secretary for Social Development, Heidi Berner, announced that a Multidimensional Poverty Index will be released in addition to the 2013 National Socioeconomic Survey (CASEN) findings, which are also due to be published early next year. The 2011 CASEN showed 14.4% of the population was income poor but included questions on education, health, housing and labour that have since been used to inform the MPI calculation.
The consultation process for the new Index was initiated during President Bachelet’s previous term in office. The intervening administration established a presidential commission, before the new government’s work in finalising and publishing the Index – all an excellent indicator of the measure’s ability to survive political change.