Online Training Portal

The following resources provide a thorough conceptual and technical introduction to current literature on the capability approach and on techniques of measuring multidimensional poverty. There is a strong emphasis on the Alkire-Foster method developed by OPHI and used to construct the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and national multidimensional poverty measures in Mexico and Colombia.

Videos are available for most of the sessions, which can be watched online or downloaded. Lighter, audio-only, files are also available, along with lecture slides and supporting resources such as exercises and reading lists.

Session title Resources available
Video and audio Slides Exercises Reading List
Background: axioms in poverty measures
Unidimensional Poverty Measurement: Axioms, Measures, and Dominance
Why Multidimensional Poverty Measures?
Properties of Multidimensional Poverty Measures
Multidimensional Poverty Measurement Methodologies
Alkire-Foster methodology
Alkire-Foster Multidimensional Poverty Measure
Empirical implementations
Case Studies – The global MPI, Mexico, Colombia
Normative Issues in Multidimensional Poverty Measurement
Data Issues in Multidimensional poverty Measurement
Stata Features
Features of AF: Decomposition and time analysis
Multidimensional Poverty Dynamics with Time Series and Panel Data
Population Subgroup Decomposition and Dimensional Breakdown
Redundancy, Correlation, Complementarity, Subjective Scales Validation (Uses of Principal Components & Factor Analyses)
Inequality among the poor
Robustness and dominance of AF measure
Multidimensional Stochastic Dominance
Robustness Analysis & Statistical Inference
Computing Standard Errors for AF Measures
Introduction to the Capability Approach
Ongoing Debates and Research Topics
Institutions and Policy
Policy and Communications
Targeting and Impact Evaluation
Review of the Course

The presentations were recorded at:

  • 2014 OPHI Summer School in Oxford
  • 2013 OPHI Summer School in Washington, D. C.
  • 2011 OPHI-HDCA Summer School in Delft, Netherlands at Delft University of Technology

Background to the training materials

The capability approach formulated by Amartya Sen, and further developed by the philosopher Martha Nussbaum and others, provides a conceptual framework that grounds many multidimensional approaches to poverty and social protection, including the MDGs, PRSPs, rights-based development, integrated social policy, and other specific initiatives.

In the past few years, interest in multidimensional quantitative techniques of analysis has surged. New quantitative methodologies have been developed for measurement, comparisons, and analysis. Many more are still under development. It is a fast-moving area. These online training resources are designed to be flexible and fit the needs of those interested in finding out more about the benefits and construction of such measures – by following all the sessions, viewers will get a comprehensive grounding in the issues.

Who can use these resources?

The sessions are designed for anyone interested in the conceptual, political and/or technical aspects of multidimensional poverty measurement. For the sessions on quantitative methods (econometrics, statistics), a prior knowledge of STATA is required, as well as a familiarity with the capability approach and social science research methods.