2008 Summer School on Capability and Multidimensional Poverty

2008 Summer School on Capability and Multidimensional Poverty, Delhi, India

Co-organised by OPHI and the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA)

Taught by: OPHI Director, Sabina Alkire, OPHI Researchers and Colleagues

Course description: The capability approach formulated by Amartya Sen, and further developed by the philosopher Martha Nussbaum and others provides a conceptual framework that underpins many multidimensional approaches to poverty and social protection, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PSRPs), rights-based development, integrated social policy, and other specific initiatives. In the past few years, interest in multidimensional quantitative techniques of analysis has surged. New quantitative methodologies have been developed for measurement, comparisons, and analysis. Many more are still under development in this fast-moving area and this course provides a good grounding. The purpose of this intensive summer school is to provide a thorough conceptual and technical introduction to current literature and techniques of measuring and comparing capabilities, drawing on various techniques of multidimensional measurement and of statistical analysis.

PowerPoint presentations, lecture videos, problem sets, exercises, and reading lists are available by following the class links below.


  1. Introduction to STATA (Instructors: Rosaria Vega Pansini and Maria Emma Santos)
  2. Introduction to the Capability Approach and Choice of Dimensions (Instructor: Sabina Alkire)
  3. Overview of Empirical Analysis: Primary and Secondary Data (Instructor: Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti)
  4. Introduction to Unidimensional Poverty and Inequality Measures (Instructor: Maria Emma Santos)
  5. Robustness and Sensitivity (Instructor: Suman Seth)
  6. Properties of Multidimensional Measures (Instructor: Maria Emma Santos)
  7. Missing Dimensions (Instructor: Emma Samman)
  8. Multidimensional Inequality Measures (Instructor: Suman Seth)
  9. Multidimensional Poverty Measures (Instructor: Sabina Alkire)
  10. Stochastic dominance analysis for the study of multi-dimensional well-being (Instructor: Gaston Yalonetzky)
  11. Weights in Multidimensional Measures (Instructor: Sabina Alkire)
  12. Poverty Dynamics (Instructors: Gaston Yalonetzky & Maria Emma Santos)
  13. Fuzzy Set Theory (Instructor: Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti)
  14. Capability Production Function (Instructor: Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti)
  15. Measuring Freedoms (Instructor: Sabina Alkire)
  16. Instrumental Variables and Structural Equations (Jaya Krishnakumar)