This paper focuses on the analysis of conceptual, normative and institutional issues of the Colombian Multidimensional Poverty Index (C-MPI). The principal questions are the following: What is the decision-making process that lies behind the Colombian experience? What are the main lessons from the Colombian case in terms of institutional arrangements for the implementation of its index? Although the medium and longer-term effects of the C-MPI on poverty reduction are still to be seen and thus to be evaluated, there are some important lessons. First, a multidimensional poverty index’s utility in terms of public policy depends not only on the mathematical and statistical robustness guaranteed by the Alkire Foster methodology but also on the ability of the policy maker to represent the public policy priorities through its normative choices. Second, acknowledging the inherent trade-offs involved in conceptual, statistical and public policy concerns is key to accurately defining the purpose of the measure. Finally, if the purpose of the MPI is to stimulate coordinated action to reduce poverty, an accurate design will not be enough; it is also necessary to provide a solid institutional architecture that supports the process from the design of the index to its application.
Citation: Angulo, R. (2016). “From multidimensional poverty measurement to multisector public policy for poverty reduction: lessons from the Colombian case.” OPHI Working Paper 102, University of Oxford.