Poverty can be measured in a number of ways. Currently, income-based and multidimensional measures are widely used for this purpose. Such measures, however, often fail to capture certain dimensions of poverty. OPHI’s research on these ‘missing dimensions’ has just been made available in Spanish, through a collaboration with CAF – Development Bank of Latin America.
The new publication, The missing dimensions in the measurement of poverty (Las dimensiones faltantes en la medición de la pobreza in Spanish) opens a new perspective on how to measure poverty as multidimensional phenomenon. In addition to more ‘traditional’ components, such as education, health and material living standards, measures of multidimensional poverty ought to also include psychological well-being, physical security, the ability to go through life without shame or humiliation, empowerment, the quality of employment, and social connections with others.
‘The approval of the new Sustainable Development Goals, with specific targets on aspects related to all of these dimensions, makes this agenda increasingly relevant,’ said Diego Zavaleta, OPHI Research Officer who has worked on several of the original English papers as well as the translations. ‘The challenge now is to keep up with demand and provide sound indicators that do justice to the richness of these topics.’
A key challenge for anyone who would like to use these dimensions as indicators for a multidimensional poverty measure is the current lack of data for most of the dimensions. In addition to presenting some of the key ‘missing dimensions’, this publication aims to stimulate a debate around the need for enhanced data collection on people’s experiences of poverty. In turn, this will enable future poverty measures to better capture the multiple deprivations suffered by poor people, which again can enhance public policy efforts.
Full text of the book (pdf)