The OPHI Summer School 2018 was held at the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England from 16-27 July 2018. This year, OPHI welcomed participants from nearly 35 countries for packed days and evenings of… multidimensional poverty measurement!.
The intensive Summer School provided a thorough technical and practical introduction to multidimensional poverty measurement with a strong emphasis on the Alkire-Foster method. Students who completed the course should now have the skills required to construct and analyse an official national multidimensional poverty measure and to describe its policy relevance.
The summer school kicked off with introductions from a wide range of participants, but whether they hailed from Afghanistan or Tanzania, from Gambia, Egypt, Philippines, America or Chile, participants found that they had in common a passion to develop rigorous tools to fight human disadvantage in its many forms and dimensions. And a love of numbers.
The summer school featured core teaching slots by Professor James Foster, OPHI Researcher and Oliver T Carr Professor at George Washington University, who is author both of the Foster Greer Thorbecke class of measures, and of the Alkire Foster method for measuring multidimensional poverty. Selim Jehan, Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office, gave a special lecture on Human Development and Multidimensional Poverty which covered not only institutional history but also philosophy and poetry. Dr Abdul Alim, from UNICEF’s South Asia Regional Office, spoke persuasively of mending the disconnect between analysis and action, motivating participants to ponder how their work could do better.
Otherwise, the summer school was taught by the OPHI team – Adriana Conconi, Ana Vaz, Bilal Malaeb, Christian Oldiges, Corinne Mitchell, Fedora Carbajal, Frank Vollmer, John Hammock, Juliana Milovich, Monica Pinilla, Nicolai Suppa, Ricardo Nogales, Rizwan Ul Haq, Sabina Alkire and Usha Kanagaratnam. Administrative and logistics matters were ably handed by Matt Brack, OPHI’s Administrator, supported by Francis Arthur and Johanna Andrango. All were deeply grateful to the Oxford Department of International Development who superbly facilitated this occasion. They are also very grateful to the Weather, which offered sunny warm days and more importantly, evenings, for walks and runs after class.
The summer school wound up with each of the Working Groups presenting a new National MPI that they had constructed and analysed within these two weeks, sharing the national context, the purpose for their MPI, its parameters with their technical and normative justifications, as well as an analysis of its indicator composition, disaggregation by different groups, robustness checks, and policy angles. As is only to be expected, an exam closed the activities. The 2018 Summer School class carries on, linked via facebook and whatsapp, as a living community of interaction into future phases of work.
Pictures are available here.