International Conference on Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America

13-14 May 2010, Santiago, Chile



OPHI followed the earthquake in Chile with deep regret and we send our sincere feelings of sympathy and solidarity to all those affected by the events. In view of the events, the international conference scheduled for March in Chile was postponed, and will now be held on 13-14 May 2010.

The conference on ‘Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America’, organised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, in collaboration with OPHI, the Chilean Government’s Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN) and the Foundation for Overcoming Poverty, will take place in ECLAC’s Raúl Prebisch Conference Hall in Santiago. Participants will include international and national academics and practitioners, as well as government ministers.

The meeting is being convened in response to growing interest in multidimensional poverty analysis in Latin America. It will contribute to national debate on whether Chile should build on their strong record in social policy by moving to a multidimensional measure of poverty.

Mexico recently adopted a new multidimensional standard for poverty measurement, which draws on a method developed by OPHI’s Sabina Alkire and James Foster (the Alkire Foster measure). Dr Gonzalo Hernández Licona, Executive Secretary of CONEVAL – the Mexican Government Office that released the measure – will speak on their experience at the conference. Sabina Alkire, OPHI Director, and James Foster, OPHI Research Associate, will present their methodology and applied work. The full conference programme is available here.

In addition, the conference will include a session dedicated to missing dimensions of poverty data. OPHI has identified five ‘missing dimensions’ of poverty that appear to matter to poor people but are not currently collected in international survey instruments. OPHI has designed survey modules that can be integrated into national questionnaires and is fielding these in collaboration with teams around the world; including a national-level survey of these indicators in Chile. The first results of this national survey will be released at the conference. View our poster to read more about this work, which ultimately aims to inform national and international surveys to enable richer measures of poverty.

About OPHI (Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative)
OPHI is a research centre within the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. OPHI is led by Sabina Alkire, and works to develop and apply new ways to measure and analyse poverty, human development and welfare, drawing on the work of Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen. OPHI gratefully acknowledges support for its research and activities from the Government of Canada through the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and private benefactors.

Read about the conference on the ECLAC/CEPAL website
Conference programme (English Spanish) Register to attend

Multidimensional Poverty Measurement Resources
Overview of OPHI’s work on multidimensional poverty measurement (English Spanish)
Summary of the Alkire Foster (2007) multidimensional poverty measure
Full academic paper, Alkire and Foster 2007 (English Spanish)

Missing Dimensions of Poverty Resources
Overview of OPHI’s work on missing dimensions of poverty (English Spanish)
OPHI’s short-listed questions for each module can be downloaded in English and Spanish:
Employment (English Spanish)
Empowerment (English Spanish)
Physical safety and security (English Spanish)
The ability to go about without shame (English Spanish)
Psychological and subjective wellbeing (English Spanish)

In Chile, OPHI has been working with MICRODATOS on a national-level survey of these indicators to create the first nationally representative dataset of its kind. Analysis of this dataset on the missing dimensions of poverty in Chile is underway following OPHI’s public call earlier this year. Over 20 proposals from researchers around the world were accepted, and the Universidad Alberto Hurtado, the Universidad de Chile and the Universidad del Desarrollo will present some preliminary results at the conference.

Original full questionnaire used in Chile (English Spanish)
Original fieldwork handbook (Spanish)
Full report from MICRODATOS on fielding of surveys