Ho Chi Minh takes lead in piloting a new multidimensional poverty measure in Vietnam

In the lead up to launching a pilot city Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) , Ho Chi Minh City and the Vietnamese Government hosted OPHI co-founder John Hammock and OPHI researcher Mihika Chatterjee at a seminar on multidimensional poverty on 16 December.

The seminar on Multidimensional Poverty Measurement in Ho Chi Minh City was jointly hosted by the City’s Steering Committee for Poverty Reduction and Improved Household Livelihoods and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Discussions in the seminar focused on plans to implement multidimensional poverty measures in the City and useful lessons for the process of developing a national multidimensional measure. With the UN support, Vietnam is among the 32 countries in the world to pioneer the research and application of multidimensional poverty measures. The seminar  highlighted the value-added offered by multidimensional poverty methods to the governance and delivery of public services.

Hammock spoke on the application of multidimensional poverty measures by various members of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN), of which Vietnam is a member. Chatterjee, who has been working with the Government and the UNDP over the last months on a measure for Ho Chi Minh City, presented preliminary results brought together in three published reports. The city government reiterated its strong intention of implementing a multidimensional poverty program in 2015 while representatives of the national government expressed their intention of adopting a multidimensional poverty measure in Vietnam’s next 5 year plan.

“Multidimensional poverty approaches have achieved global traction by providing a robust alternative to – and complement – income-based measures,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director Bakhodir Burkhanov at the seminar. “They are particularly applicable in Middle Income Countries like Vietnam and in such urban context as Ho Chi Minh City, where poverty is more complex and defined by a number of interlocking deprivations.”

Mr Burkhanov praised Ho Chi Minh City’s use of multi-dimensional poverty as  a pioneering effort. “There are enormous opportunities for the City’s work to further inform the national process, and to provide a template for replication elsewhere in Vietnam,” he said.

Further information

Download the joint press release from Ho Chi Minh City and the UNDP Vietnam issued at the event.

Find out more about Vietnam’s work as part of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN).

Read the full speech made by UNDP Deputy Country Director Bakhodir Burkhanov on multidimensional poverty: Remarks by Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director at the seminar on multidimensional poverty measurement in Ho Chi Minh city

Find out more about the Global MPI 2014