Yesterday, the Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, at a Conference with 200 participants, mostly from social development agencies in the country and with participation of the UNDP, the World Bank, and OPHI Co-Founder John Hammock, stated that the government, led by the Social Council of the Government, will begin to develop multidimensional poverty measures in conjunction with the OPHI team and Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network.
She stated: “…we wanted to bring together all of the institutions that use…poverty measurement tools, and the data they collect, so that together we can refine this instrument and better capture information that is useful for making strategic decisions.” “These methodologies,” she continued, “allow for a focus on combating poverty that will make politicians [and public policy] more efficient and transparent.”
She further recognized in her speech that just because a person has money in his pocket does not necessarily mean that he is not poor; rather, combating poverty involves making sure that people can live with the dignity they deserve as human beings.
Lorenzo Jiménez de Luis, representative of the UNDP in the Dominican Republic further stated; “What we hope to do is introduce a new mechanism such that the surveys done by SIUBEN reflect the new criteria…[so that in 2015] we can launch a report about human development in the Dominican Republic based on multidimensional poverty.”
In the last two years, income poverty has been reduced in the Dominican Republic from 42.2% to 36.6%, and extreme poverty from 11.1% to 8.6%. Despite this success, the Vice President wants to continue improving the situation of poverty in the country.
In his talk in the conference John Hammock highlighted that income poverty is not a good proxy for all dimensions of poverty and stressed the impact the MPI has had in the countries that have adopted it.
OPHI has now agreed to form a new working partnership with the Government of the Dominican Republic, and looks forward to future successes in terms of poverty reduction in the country.