Summer Schools

OPHI Summer School 2021: Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis

Organised by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, to be held from 9th to 21st August 2021.

*** This year, the OPHI Summer School will be organised online. ***

The Summer School is aimed at those who are working on, or actively interested in gaining skills in multidimensional poverty measurement, particularly professional staff of national offices of statistics and government ministries that deal with poverty reduction, professionals from international development institutions, academics, and doctoral students. The Summer School will be led by OPHI Director Sabina Alkire and the OPHI team, including researchers and academics with extensive experience of developing Multidimensional Poverty Indices (MPIs), and policy evaluation.

The purpose of this intensive Summer School is to provide a technical introduction, to multidimensional poverty measurement using the Alkire-Foster method, and to share examples of its practical applications. Upon completing the course, students will have the skills required to construct and analyse a multidimensional poverty measure and to describe its policy relevance and usefulness for analytical purposes. Drawing on Amartya Sen’s capability approach and empirical examples of national and global Multidimensional Poverty Indices, the conceptual and empirical motivation for measuring multidimensional poverty will be presented, as well as the full suite of measurement tools.

The following topics will be covered:

■      Unidimensional poverty measures;
■      Multidimensional poverty measures and methodologies;
■      The Alkire-Foster methodology of multidimensional poverty measurement;
■      Measurement design – purpose, unit of measure, dimensions, indicators, cut-offs and weights;
■      Estimation of multidimensional poverty and interpretation of the results;
■      Subgroup decomposition and dimensional break-down;
■      Multidimensional poverty changes over time;
■      Interpretation and analysis of multidimensional poverty.

Course format

The Summer School will consist of two weeks of instruction and working group sessions, taught in English. Each participant needs access to a computer or laptop with Stata, and a stable and good internet connection to be part of the programme. Throughout the Summer School, participants will be actively involved in discussions and will work through problem sets in small groups (5 participants). They will have the opportunity to attend live lectures and Q&A sessions with OPHI director Sabina Alkire, Professor James Foster, and OPHI researchers.

Dates and location

The course runs from Monday 9th August 2021 to Saturday 21st August 2021, online. Live lectures and working groups will take place from Monday to Saturday, between 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm (BST).

We also offer a non-compulsory exam. Passing the exam provides a course certificate acknowledging participation and completion of the OPHI Summer School.


The course fees are as follows:
£600 GBP (students and developing country researchers)
£1,400 GBP (developing country professionals)
£2,000 GBP (developed country professionals)

In addition, participants will need to purchase their own Stata licence if they do not already have access to it.

Course Application Information
AudienceThe Summer School is aimed at those who are working on, or actively interested in gaining skills in, multidimensional poverty measurement, particularly professional staff of national offices of statistics and government ministries that deal with poverty reduction, professionals from international development institutions, academics, and doctoral students. Applicants who are currently pursuing work on measurement are also welcome. Other applicants having a demonstrated research interest in empirical analysis in these topics will be considered on the basis of their experience and our capacity.
Prerequisites A demonstrable knowledge of Stata is an essential pre-requisite for attending the course. This will be assessed as part of the application process. In addition, every participant will need to have Stata installed on their laptop. The software will not be provided by the Summer School.
A strong knowledge in quantitative methods and a strong interest in poverty measurement and analysis are highly desirable.
The Summer School will be delivered through English so a high level of English language ability is necessary.
The Summer School will be delivered online via Canvas and Zoom. Participants will need the following internet and system requirements to run these platforms:
Canvas system requirements
Zoom system requirements
Internet speed test
Financial SupportLimited financial support may be available. Competition for any financial support will be very strong. However, well-qualified and committed applicants with financial needs are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants are also highly encouraged to seek support from their local governments and institutions. We would be happy to provide support letters for these funding applications to accepted candidates.
Application FormTo apply, please complete this online application form which will require you to submit a current curriculum vitae, sample Stata .do file, and a sample of written work. The application deadline for the Summer School 2020 is 30 June 2021. The application process is competitive and slots are limited; applicants will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided in their application.
Questions?Please write to
In the week following OPHI’s 2021 Summer School, we shall be offering OPHI’s inaugural Executive Education Leaders Programme: Using the MPI as a Policy Tool. This five-day online course will offer top-level policymakers experience and evidence-based insights into how to use a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to guide successful poverty reduction. Through lectures, panels, and working groups, conducted by senior expert practitioners, the course will leverage candid discussions and high-level networking with fellow policymakers from around the world to share the successes and challenges of leading multidimensional poverty reduction.  

OPHI may be contracted for demand-driven executive education courses, specialized courses for institutions, researcher training modules, undergraduate and graduate course modules, and workshops and conferences. Materials from previous courses are available on the Online Training Portal.

Previous Summer Schools

Watch videos on our summer schools.

2020 Summer School was cancelled on account of Covid-19 pandemic.
2019 Summer School (Mexico City, Mexico)
2018 Summer School (Oxford, UK)
2017 Summer School (Marrakesh, Morocco)
2016 Summer School (Beijing, China)
2015 OPHI Summer School (Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA)
2014 OPHI Summer School (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
2013 OPHI Summer School (George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA)
2012 OPHI Summer School (Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia)
2011 OPHI-HDCA Summer School (Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands)
2010 OPHI Summer School (University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
2009 OPHI-HDCA Summer School (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Lima, Peru)
2008 OPHI-HDCA Summer School (Institute for Human Development, New Delhi, India)