MPI and the SDGs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 and provide a 'blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet'

The first Sustainable Development Goal seeks to end poverty in all its forms everywhere and the MPI is one of the measures recognised by the UN to report progress towards it. Mid-way through the 2030 Agenda, in September 2023 the UN General Assembly endorsed the political declaration adopted by the high-level political forum on sustainable development which reinforced the importance of SDG 1 by stating that 'eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.’  

According to Goal 1, poverty is multidimensional. The target for multidimensional poverty reduction is as follows: 

By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.

Target 1.2 of the SDGs
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  • A tool for SDG 1 and Leaving No One behind

    The MPI is a key tool to track progress towards Target 1.2 and poverty reduction according to national definitions by 2030. 

    • National MPIs are built on national definitions of poverty in terms of indicators measured, weights chosen, and poverty cutoffs selected. 
    • National MPIs illuminate for policymakers who is poor, how they are poor and how intensely they suffer poverty. MPI analysis tracks progress on poverty for different groups, for example people living in subnational regions, rural and urban areas, and, groups such as children, ethnic groups and castes. They can therefore help to ensure another core principle of the SDGs to leave no one behind. 

    Where countries are not in a position to develop a national MPI, the global MPI can be used to report multidimensional poverty for a country. As of 2024, this is currently the case for Nepal for whom the global MPI structure satisfies current definitions of national poverty. Given that the global MPI is standardised across over 100 countries, global MPI data provides poverty rates and trends that can be compared across countries to identify areas or progress and breakthroughs from which other countries and institutions can learn.    

  • A tool for the interlinkages between SDGs

    Another principle of the SDGs is that the challenges for sustainable development are interlinked. MPIs are built on the understanding of the overlapping nature of poverty. MPIs help further the 2030 Agenda by enabling policymakers to coordinate comprehensive multisectoral policies and track the impact of their policies on poor people, helping to break down silos and intensify policy impact. The global MPI and many national MPIs have been designed to align closely with 17 SDGs.  

    In 2022, OPHI and the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report Office (UNDP HDRO) published a global study of interlinkages, or the simultaneous interlinked deprivations which multidimensionally poor people face around the world. The 2022 global MPI report presented the first in-depth analysis of the possible combinations – or bundles – of deprivations across the ten indicators measured in the global MPI. It investigated which interlinked deprivations are most frequent through a regional analysis and country-level case studies and explored how this analysis can offer important information for designing strategies that address multiple aspects of poverty at the same time.

  • Reporting MPI data in Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at HLPF

    The indicators of Target 1.2 of SDG 1 include the encouragement to UN Member States to report both monetary poverty figures (Indicator 1.1.1) and multidimensional poverty figures (Indicator 1.2.2). The definitions for these are as follows: 

    • "Proportion of population living below the national poverty line, by sex and age" (Indicator 1.1.1)
    • "Proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions" (Indicator 1.2.2) 

    Reporting can be achieved in two ways through Voluntary National Reviews and through reporting SDG Indicator 1.2.2 in the Global SDG Indicators Database.    

    Voluntary National Reviews are the process by which UN Member States can voluntarily report on progress made towards the 2030 Agenda. They are annually submitted to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), delivered at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July and thereafter available via the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. 

    They are an opportunity to showcase national progress and share lessons learned. Between 2016 and 2021, 41 countries submitted 53 VNRs that discussed multidimensional poverty and reported its incidence (the proportion of the population living in multidimensional poverty). A list of countries reporting multidimensional poverty in their VNRs can be found here

    OPHI and the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network provide technical and policy support to countries through the whole process of introducing and using MPIs. For more information, please contact us. 

    For more information on VNRs

  • Reporting MPI data under SDG Indicator 1.2.2. in the SDG Global Database

    SDG indicator 1.2.2. - "Proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions" - is the only SDG indicator for which national governments are the custodian agencies. 

    The World Bank, UNDP, and UNICEF are supporting agencies. Countries are invited to report the following statistics for SDG indicator 1.2.2 in the SDG Global Database. They are welcome to report multidimensional poverty data associated with their national MPI, or the global MPI where that is adopted as their national indicator.

    • The incidence of multidimensional poverty (Proportion of population living in multidimensional poverty) (%) 
    • The intensity of multidimensional poverty (Average proportion of deprivations for people multidimensionally poor) (%)
    • The incidence of children living in child-specific multidimensional poverty, (Proportion of children living in child-specific multidimensional poverty) (%) 
    • The incidence of poverty for households (Proportion of households living in multidimensional poverty), %
    • The intensity of poverty for households (Average share of weighted deprivations of total households, intensity) (%)  

    Countries can contact  Nobuo Yoshida ( or Kazusa Kyoshimura (,  or to include their MPI results in the forthcoming updates of the database, which take place annually in April. These are reviewed by the other supporting agencies UNDP and UNICEF before being sent for review by the NSO of the country. 

    OPHI and the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network provide technical and policy support to countries through the whole process of introducing and using MPIs. 

  • Beyond GDP: MPI in the post 2030 context

    The Beyond GDP initiative launched by the UN Secretary General seeks to identify 10-20 measures or multidimensional indices that together will better reflect the quality of human life on a shared planet. 

    The background documents on Beyond GDP recognise the MPI as a salient and policy-relevant measure (see also Our Common Agenda Policy Brief 4: Valuing What Counts, May 2023). For example, the 2022 Report of the High-level Committee on Programmes that focuses on 'Progress Beyond GDP' recommended that to inform future policy directions, the narrative about Beyond GDP 'could benefit from the inclusion of case studies on countries using existing instruments, such as the Multidimensional Poverty Index, for policy purposes" (paragraph 2). The same document suggested that the Beyond GDP initiative could learn from the experiences of the MPI among other measures (paragraph 18). 

    The MPI adds three features to both the existing GDP framework and to composite measures of individual indicators:

    Equity - rather than taking an average which smooths excessive disadvantages by some with excessive consumption by others, an MPI or linked wellbeing measure considers whether each person has a sufficient level, a pre-requisite to wellbeing, in each indicator.

    Pluralism - rather than implicitly requiring each person to value and pursue high achievements in every single indicator regardless of their skills or life goals, MPI and linked wellbeing measures use a cross-dimensional cutoff to permit human diversity: every person can pursue some aspects of wellbeing and opt out of others. So long as they have a critical mass of attainments, they can achieve wellbeing. 

    Action - an MPI or linked Beyond GDP measure can be disaggregated by subnational groups - age, geographic location, and so on - and can show the disadvantages that different groups face. Going beyond a national measure and offering dimensional details whose improvement improves the national wellbeing measure is key to the policy uses of the MPI and linked wellbeing indicators.  

SDG goals