‘We no longer have to make policy blindly’, leaders reflect on poverty reduction at UNGA 76

Agenda for UNGA 76 side event
Concept Note for UNGA 76 side event
Video of UNGA 76 side event

24 September 2021 – The Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) co-hosted an online side event at the 76th UN General Assembly yesterday for 19 world leaders and policymakers. In the event, organised by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford, speakers discussed how to envision a more equitable future using Multidimensional Poverty Indices (MPIs) as policy tools. As Samheng Boros, the Secretary of State for Cambodia put it, ‘we no longer have to make policy blindly’.

Two heads of state and government, and 17 high-level representatives from countries and international agencies spoke at the event sharing how their governments had been using, or were planning to use, MPIs and multidimensional poverty analyses to guide effective interventions that curb rising multidimensional poverty.

Both the Presidents of Botswana and Costa Rica commented on the impact of COVID-19 in their countries, and the need for multidimensional measures that look at people’s overlapping deprivations to identify the most vulnerable for efficient interventions. The President of Botswana shared how the MPI has introduced greater coordination among programmes geared towards addressing non-monetary deprivations in Botswana. He spoke of how the Botswana MPI has provided more information on the deprivations that poor people experience, which helps in policy formulation, coordination, evaluation, program targeting and resource allocation. The President of Costa Rica encouraged fellow policymakers to go ahead and implement an MPI in their contexts, commenting on how the MPI has helped his government go from the traditional vision of the cash transfer to incorporate a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomena of poverty, and design policies to reduce it. The President of Botswana challenged the audience to reflect on how effective their policymaking is in practice and asked thoughtful questions: ‘Are the interventions helping the poor, to cope with the effects of the pandemic? Are our interventions inclusive, or they leaving out the poor? Are we or have we involved the poor in designing the interventions? Do we know what the poor want or the deprivations? Are we able to prioritize interventions to the most vulnerable?’

In the Ministerial segment, speakers shared their updates relating to multidimensional poverty and the impact of COVID-19. Alejandra Botero, Director of the Department of National Planning in Colombia, described how overall poverty increased from 17.5% in 2019 to 18.1% in 2020. The statistics department had blended census, health record, and institutional data to predict COVID-19 impacts and devise responses. Tan Weiping, the Deputy Director-General of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, provided a summary of how China has achieved the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2021, and how the government of China has set out to counter the impacts of COVID-19 to prevent people falling back into poverty. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant of Pakistan’s Prime Minister of Pakistan, shared details of Pakistan’s innovative management tool, the Ehsaas Implementation Tracking Index, which is an adaptation of the MPI methodology to management, and tracks progress across hundreds of initiatives addressing multidimensional poverty and gives an overview of how different regions, institutions, and target areas are advancing throughout the pandemic. José Nabor Cruz Marcelo, Executive Secretary of the National Council of Evaluation of Social Development Policy CONEVAL, Mexico, reported post-pandemic data, from 2020, indicating that multidimensional poverty and intensity had increased.

Ministers from Bangladesh, Namibia, Ethiopia, Mongolia and Thailand shared how they plan to use MPIs to monitor poverty reduction in their national development plans. Namibia’s MPI launched this June and Ethiopia’s MPI is currently in development, involving a committee incorporating eleven institutions. The Thailand MPI has been used to draft a goal to end intergenerational poverty in the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan. Mongolia plans to launch its first MPI in 2022 and believes the MPI could be used as a performance indicator in the Vision 2050 of the National Development Framework. Close to launching its MPI, Shamsul Alam, State Minister of Planning, Bangladesh set out the calendar for future updates, the report’s structure, and how the MPI will be integrated in policy and planning processes going forward. Biswo Nath Poudel, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission of Nepal reflected on how Nepal had achieved rapid reduction according to the global MPI noting the role of integrating the SDGs into national development plans

In the institutional panel, ESCWAS’ Under Secretary-General and event Co-Host, Rola Dashti, spoke of recent innovations including how ESCWA is working with several Arab countries to establish a social expenditure monitor at the local level which, when mapped against the MPI for the same district or government, will assist Arab countries in drawing economic and social policies based on evidence and results. ESCWA also developed an online tool to simulate policy impacts on MPI for diagnostic purposes. Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) catalogued UNDP’s multiple efforts to work with OPHI to advance MPIs. Efforts range from the global MPI which launches in October, to support for national MPIs and initiatives like Honduras’ Bono Unico social protection programme using multidimensional analysis for targeting.  Educational tools like the second iteration of a Massive Online Open Course about building a national MPI and a forthcoming Policy Entrepreneurship handbook are also included. The UNDP also informed the audience of its new target, recently approved, to work with policy actors globally to lift 100 million people out of multidimensional poverty by 2025. The World Bank reinforced the vital importance of up-to-date data collection for its work on human capital, particularly for girls.  UNICEF highlighted how children, the world’s poorest demographic, must remain a priority, but reflected on the positive progress made in reporting with 41 countries having reported children’s multidimensional poverty estimates in the SDG Global Indicators Database under Indicator 1.2.2.

The event was a transparent exchange of challenges faced, and innovations implemented, underscored by a firm commitment among all representatives to develop and improve poverty reduction policies and share advances on the international stage to achieve the goal of sustained poverty reduction.

Highlights from high-level speakers

Leadership Panel:
H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana
H.E. Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica

Ministerial Panel:
H.E. Biswo Nath Poudel, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Nepal
H.E. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant of Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Federal Minister, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Ministry, Pakistan
H.E. Obeth Mbuipaha Kandjoze, Director General of the National Planning Commission, Namibia
H.E. Fitsum Assefa Adela, Commissioner of the Planning and Development Commission, Ethiopia
H.E. Shamsul Alam, State Minister of Planning, Bangladesh
H.E. Ariunzaya Ayush, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Mongolia
H.E. Samheng Boros, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation, Cambodia
H.E. Alejandra Botero, Director of the Department of National Planning, Colombia
H.E. Jinanggoon Rojananan, Deputy Secretary General of National Economic and Social Development Council, Thailand
H.E. Tan Weiping, Deputy Director-General of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China
H.E. José Nabor Cruz Marcelo, Executive Secretary of the National Council of Evaluation of Social Development Policy CONEVAL, Mexico

Institutional Panel:
Rola Dashti, Under Secretary-General, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, ESCWA
Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (RBPPS), UNDP
Mamta Murthi, Vice President of Human Development, World Bank
David Stewart, Chief of Child Poverty and Social Protection, UNICEF
Michelle Muschett, Senior Public Policy Advisor, OPHI, University of Oxford
James Foster, Vice Dean and Professor, George Washington University

H.E. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana
“[A] multidimensional poverty measure is very important as it provides more information on the deprivations of the poor…which helps in poverty, policy formulation, coordination, evaluation, programme targeting and resource allocation.”

‘[The] multidimensional approach to poverty requires commitment from the highest office in the country in order to be the mainstay of the planning system.’

Prior to the MPIthere has been no coordinated approach to implementing as well as tracking [of] the agglomerated impact of these programs on the poor.’

‘The path to addressing poverty is a thorny one, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic, but one that has to be navigated, as no one deserves to live in poverty.’

‘Are the interventions helping the poor to cope with the effects of the pandemic? Are our interventions inclusive, or are they leaving out the poor? Are we, or have, we involved the poor in designing the interventions? Do we know what the poor want, or the deprivations? Are we able to prioritize interventions to the most vulnerable?’

H.E. Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica
‘Actually, the MPI is now embedded as part of our poverty measures, also with the traditional income measure, which is a great advancement. But we can go even further, the MPI has helped us design public policy in different dimensions, going from the traditional vision of cash transfer to a more comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of poverty. And this thanks to all the support from OPHI, and from all the support to develop the MPI… So, I encourage all other partners that are thinking of going in this direction, to go ahead and implement [the MPI], because it’s a great tool.’

‘Before being President, I was Minister of Social Affairs, and I was in charge of implementing [the MPI]. And I can tell you, it really helps to improve the quality of your policies, but most important, the services you can provide to the most vulnerable people in your countries.’

‘Now in the context of COVID-19, also, the MPI can help us understand better the impacts of the pandemic [on] the most vulnerable people…in our countries and across the world.’

H.E. Biswo Nath Poudel, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Nepal
Nepal ‘adopted the global MPI as our national MPI, thereby gaining a tool to identify a globally comparable indicator of multidimensional poverty.’

‘More than three million Nepali were brought out from MPI poverty between 2014 and 2019; reducing overall MPI from 30.1 percent to 17.4 percent and the MPI Index 0.133 to 0.074. This strong reduction in MPI is also augmented with a balanced reduction across all 10 indicators.’

‘Nepal’s MPI 2021 includes a detailed analysis of poverty at the provincial levels also. The provincial analysis provides a strong ground for provincial governments to devise required policies and strategies to expedite their homegrown poverty reduction initiatives to complement existing national initiatives.’

H.E. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant of Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Federal Minister, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Ministry, Pakistan
‘In Pakistan, we have long recognised that poverty has many faces – that it is ‘multidimensional’. Before the pandemic, the idea of multidimensionality felt rather specialised. But now, everyone has heard of co-morbidities – how bad conditions can feed off each other making a person’s health outcomes worse. The MPI measures a parallel phenomenon to ‘comorbidities’, but in poverty. Multidimensionally poor people often experience multiple confounding conditions – ranging from poor health to informal jobs and livelihoods, to undernutrition, low-quality schools. And these feed off each other, making the burden of poverty intolerable.’

‘In 2016, Pakistan launched our first official permanent multidimensional poverty index or MPI, using a data series which tracked changes every two years from 2004/5 to 2014/15. Our national MPI is reported as SDG 1.2.2

‘Our MPI is also disaggregated down to the district level, which is the lowest subnational level of governance, making it our most precise and high-resolution quality statistic. And in addition, it is also disaggregated by rural and urban by age cohorts and disability status. So, the data show us how the indicator composition [and] the shape of poverty varies across districts and it really helps us with decision making.’

‘Data is crucial to any policy response. In Pakistan, I lead the government’s strategy on Poverty Alleviation, called Ehsaas – meaning ‘compassion’. The Ehsaas strategy is the largest social protection programme in the history of the country. It targets different disadvantaged individuals through a coordinated set of more than 140 interventions, linked by theory of change. There are policies and programmes for poor women, underprivileged students, the undernourished, any lacking health care, and those seeking livelihood opportunities. There are interventions designated for daily wage earners, overseas labourers, for orphans, widows, and those that are disabled, or homeless.’

‘To make quantum changes in the delivery capability of governments, bold policy, solid data, proactive management, and an unwavering commitment to integrity, transparency, and whole-of-government mobilization is needed.  This nexus forms the cornerstone of our poverty alleviation work.’

‘…working with OPHI, we developed a new adaptation and application of their measurement methodology – the Ehsaas Implementation Tracking Index. It offers an axiomatically articulate performance management tool, which tracks progress across hundreds of initiatives and gives an overview of how different regions, institutions, and target areas are advancing. So, the MPI now has a ‘management’ innovation, too.’

H.E. Obeth Mbuipaha Kandjoze, Director General of the National Planning Commission, Namibia
‘The National MPI [of Namibia] will inform policy makers, policymaking, track progress in eradicating poverty, and be reported against Goal 1 of the SDGs while [the] Government’s implementation thereof will be monitored premised on the Fifth National Development Plan.’

‘Overall, more than two in five people in Namibia are living in multidimensional poverty according to the national MPI. Worryingly, nearly three in five Namibians living in rural areas were found to be multidimensionally poor, compared to only one in four Namibians in urban areas.’

‘Each of these findings highlight the most vulnerable populations in our country. In this way, the National MPI allows my colleagues and I at the National Planning Commission to recommend targeted interventions and evidence-based policies that will lead to high-impact results in the fight against poverty.’

H.E. Fitsum Assefa Adela, Commissioner of the Planning and Development Commission, Ethiopia
‘…in its recently launched ten-years development plan, Ethiopia clearly stated its intention to adopt better metrics such as the MPI [to] complement unidimensional measures for tracking progress towards achieving its vision of becoming “An African Beacon of Prosperity” by creating the necessary and sufficient conditions for prosperity. Ensuring high per capita income through rapid economic growth is only one of the sources of prosperity, but not a measure of prosperity on its own. Prosperity is largely defined in terms of improvement in standard of living and quality of life, and the level of satisfaction created by the overall capability we build through economic gains, and human and social development through harnessing tangible and intangible wealth.’

‘the Planning and Development Commission in collaboration with the UNDP and OPHI have been developing the first national MPI for Ethiopia. We formed a national technical committee constituting experts from eleven relevant institutions. We are also in the process of establishing a steering committee for better oversight.’

H.E. Shamsul Alam, State Minister of Planning, Bangladesh
‘The Government of Bangladesh is committed to introduce a Multidimensional Poverty Index measurement well-articulated in its first Voluntary National Review in 2017.’

‘The concept of MPI methodology, robustness of selected indicators and the result of the exercise has been widely shared with government officials of relevant ministries including the Prime Minister’s Office. These efforts subsequently led to the development of a national MPI as well as a child MPI using  the recent MICS of 2019.

‘The comparison between two different periods – 2012/13 to 2018/19 – shows 27 million people came out of multidimensional poverty in Bangladesh’

‘The result of the draft report suggests that monetary poor are not necessarily multidimensionally poor…. Schooling contributes the most to the overall MPI followed by school attendance and reproductive health.’

‘What will be the next steps: the Bangladesh Planning Commission will seek approval of the MPI report from the national implementation and review committee…sensitising policy makers about the multidimensional nature of poverty and the commitment to achieving SDGs. Upon endorsement from the committee, the final report will be launched by the honourable Minister of Planning, further regular seminars, workshops, training on the MPI and the report will be conducted at the level of officials in different ministries.  MPI reporting will be made triannually with a specific thematic report on poverty possibly on an annual basis.’

‘[To] institutionalise MPI, the government will endeavour to connect sectoral, social sector in particular, strategies in the development plan [that have] direct linkages to budget according to the priority for the sector…As the national focal point of poverty and SDG, the GED of Bangladesh Planning Commission will be responsible for producing the MPI report, promoting dialogue on different aspects of poverty,  implementation of the programme on social protection.’

H.E. Ariunzaya Ayush, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Mongolia
‘In 2019, our National Statistical Office, supported by the Asian Development Bank, produced a pilot on MPI and that has included five dimensions and 18 indicators. Since then, the National Statistical Office of Mongolia has been working to develop the methodology and refine the structure with the plan of adopting the MPI as an official poverty measure with the monetary measurements side by side in 2022.’

‘…having MPI as an official national statistic, will allow us to efficiently monitor the picture in full to target multiple aspects of poverty in our country. It could also be a performance indicator in the Vision 2050 of the National Development Framework, and an important tool for tracking progress for Sustainable Development Goals.’

‘So [it is] key that we use the rich information from the MPI to design effective policies in [and] coordinate across different ministries to reach [the] most vulnerable, and to those who are really falling behind.’

H.E. Samheng Boros, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rahabilitation, Cambodia
‘…one question I always ask myself, are we making policy blind[ly]? Then came OPHI Executive Education programme with the support of UNDP Cambodia, I was exposed to how [the] MPI, or Multidimensional Poverty Index using the Alkire-Foster method can put our beloved citizen deprivations in the forefront of our policymaking decisions.’

‘As Cambodia builds [back] from COVID-19 and continues to aim for upper middle-income country status, there is also an urgent need to ensure that progress is defined beyond measures of income alone and that the most vulnerable are not left behind.’

“The MPI measurement will be used according to our national definition [and] areas [of] prioritisation to monitor progress over time nationally and sub nationally. It will be a complement to our monetary measure to inform poverty reduction policy, align national budget allocation, SDG prioritisation, inter government coordination across ministries and especially to track the development progress of key deprivation indicators that are challenging our beloved citizen’s livelihoods. In short, we no longer have to make policy blind.”

H.E. Alejandra Botero, Director of the Department of National Planning, Colombia
‘The MPI has been very useful to guide our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Simulations based on the anticipated impacts of the pandemic provided valuable information to identity the groups at risk in the face of COVID-19 and those who were deprived in health, education, housing conditions, and employment; and allowed us to design new strategies to support the poorest households and to mitigate the impacts of covid on various MPI indicators.’

‘Overall poverty increased from 17.5% in 2019 to 18.1% in 2020. Although 489,000 people fell into poverty, we were able to mitigate to a large extent the impact of the pandemic on poor households.’

H.E. Jinanggoon Rojananan, Deputy Secretary General of National Economic and Social Development Council, Thailand
‘The latest data suggested that in 2019, there were 4.3 million monetary poor in Thailand while the number of MPI poor stood at 9.3 million persons. Dimensions in which Thai people are most deprived were living conditions for the National MPI and education for the Child MPI.’

‘Both the Child MPI and the National MPI were developed with the purpose of not only serving the SDGs, monitoring SDG 1.2 in Thailand’s SDG Report 2016–2020, but also being included in the Poverty and Inequality Situation Report, which is disseminated on an annual basis.’

‘We are in the drafting process of the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan, to be implemented in 2022. The MPI has been used in drafting the Milestone to end intergenerational poverty. The MPI in [the] elderly population has also been proposed as one of the indicators to monitor human resource development under the 13th Plan.’

H.E. Tan Weiping, Deputy Director-General of the International Poverty Reduction Center in China
‘Over the past eight years, all 99 million rural residents living in poverty have been lifted out of poverty, ensuring adequate food and clothing and ensuring compulsory education and basic medical care and housing safety. The spirit of the people who have been lifted out of poverty has taken on a new look. And the poverty alleviation areas have been relieved of the difficulties in transportation, water, electricity, communication, schooling, and medical care in a multidimensional manner.’

‘In 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic brought great difficulties and challenges to China’s poverty alleviation efforts. The disruption of human and logistic flows has reduced the time of poor labourers to work outside and lowered their wages, caused difficulties for poor people to develop production and sell their products. The emerging tourism industry in poor areas has been hit severely.’

‘First, to keep poverty alleviation policies stable, we put into place a mechanism to effectively prevent people from falling back to poverty and provide targeted assistance to the needy in advance. Second, local governments were urged to speed up efforts in lifting the poor counties and villages out of poverty and enhance social security guarantees to impoverished people having no ability to work. Third, we gave priority to supporting the poverty-stricken workforce in employment and implement a pairing-up support mechanism between the west and east regions to help impoverished workers get back to work in an orderly manner. Fourth, to call for further efforts to reduce poverty via boosting industrial development, providing medium- and long-term support for planting and breeding industries as well as microcredits for the poor. Fifth, increasing financial support from central and local government.’

H.E. José Nabor Cruz Marcelo, Executive Secretary of the National Council of Evaluation of Social Development Policy CONEVAL, Mexico
‘In the context of COVID-19 and the economic crisis, the 2020 poverty estimates provide valuable information to identify the most vulnerable population as well as to recognise the balance of social development. According to these results, in 2020 the percentage of poverty reached 43.9% which represents 51.9 million people, 2 percentage points greater than 2018. Also, we know that extreme poverty shifted from 7% to 8.5% in the same period. These multidimensional estimates certainly allow us to declare that health deprivations grew, while education and food deprivations remained on average at the same level before pandemic, but housing, basic services, and social security in fact showed significant improvements in 2020. Finally, the intensity of poverty measured by the Alkire-Foster method increased from 0.29 to 0.31.’

Rola Dashti, Under Secretary-General, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, ESCWA
‘The first Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report estimated that two thirds of the region’s non GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) population were either poor, or vulnerable to multidimensional poverty. As a result, in January 2019, the fourth Arab Economic and Social Summit adopted the Arab Strategic Framework for the Eradication of Multidimensional Poverty 2020–2030.’

‘Last year, ESCWA…projected that multidimensional poverty increased in Iraq, the State of Palestine and, to a greater extent, in Lebanon where 82 percent of the population is considered poor using a nationally tailored multidimensional poverty index (or MPI), which is nearly double the headcount poverty rate for 2019 using that same index.’

‘Recognizing that poverty is at the heart of global development challenges and the achievement of the SDGs, ESCWA has developed a Multidimensional Poverty Index Assist Tool (MAT), an online interactive policy platform that supports any country in constructing its national Multidimensional Poverty Index framework, and assists decision makers to stimulate simulate the impact of policy interventions, and negative shocks such as the outbreak of COVID-19.’

‘ESCWA is working with several Arab countries to establish a social expenditure monitor at the local level which, when mapped against the MPI for the same district or governorate, will assist Arab countries in drawing economic and social policies based on evidence and results.’

Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (RBPPS), UNDP
‘We know that Covid has caused, for the first time in the last 30 years, a decline in Human Development: more than 100 million people fell into poverty as a result of COVID-19.’

‘But our analysis with the Pardee Centre for International Futures at the University of Denver has shown that a multidimensional approach through public policy interventions will actually lift 100 million people out of poverty compared to a Covid baseline’

‘So if we have what’s called a SDG-push scenario where you have multiple policies to be applied at the same time in the areas of governance, social protection, green economy and digitalisation, you can actually achieve the goal of progress – despite the setback.  So, I think we heard a lot of good examples from our governments – this is just to add one more point: The multidimensional approach to poverty reduction – works.’

‘That’s why, in our technical lead role for Covid response – UN Socio-economic response, we worked with UN Agencies very closely to help develop socio-economic response plans based on multidimensional analysis for more than 140 countries.  Just one example: In Honduras, for the government’s Bono Unico programme, the government’s national centre for social sector information, and OPHI and UNDP, we worked together to help develop a selection and identification process based on multidimensional analysis for beneficiary selection. This allowed this programme to scale up.’

‘We see a huge demand for capacity development in this area. That is why we have worked very closely with OPHI to develop a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on designing a national Multidimensional Poverty Index…And based on high demand, the second edition was launched this year in multiple languages – in English, in French and Spanish…The module this year also included a dedicated module for the use of MPI for COVID response…We are also working with OPHI on a Handbook on Policy Entrepreneurship, to help our country teams to apply and use the MPI for policy discussion.’

‘In the UN, UNDP, UNICEF as well as the WB are the facilitator agencies for SDG indicator 1.2.2 on multidimensional poverty measurement. So, working with UNICEF and the WB, and working very closely with the MPPN, we are working with our country teams offices to support the application of MPI across our developing programme countries.’

‘UNDP’s new strategic plan for 2022–2025 has just been approved, and in that plan we committed to lift 100 million people out of multidimensional poverty by 2025. We cannot do this alone, we will need to work together applying the kind of tools we are discussing today to achieve that goal.’

Mamta Murthi, Vice President of Human Development, World Bank
‘I would like to highlight the varied and important role that is played by good and up to date data…’

‘Outcomes are only as good as the data that they’re built on and making sure that there is data collection and these outcomes are tracked in a robust fashion is a priority if we are to engage in evidence-based policy making to ensure that policy is not blind.’

David Stewart, Chief of Child Poverty and Social Protection, UNICEF
‘To address multidimensional poverty and inequality overall, it is vital that one puts children front and centre. This comes from the fact that, as the global MPI data shows, children are twice as likely to live in poverty as adults, with long-term implications on children themselves, but also reverberating across society and economies as a whole.’

‘In UNICEF we’ve just finished a comprehensive review on the pathways between multidimensional poverty measurement and policy impact drawing from examples from across the world…what emerges really clearly is how effective multidimensional poverty approaches have been in changing policy. They have been powerful in changing the way people think about and understand poverty beyond income. This has been a vital shift in focus…it really lays the foundation for establishing and improving policies to address multidimensional poverty.…The review also looks practically at how multidimensional poverty measures have been used to identify policy responses. And we found many impacts – on budgets social protection polices, on intersectoral collaboration… But the pathways on forging these changes are not always straightforward in practice…Additional policy research, analysis and engagement is extremely helpful, along with the use of these measures for the strong monitoring of progress.’

‘We want to recognise the incredible progress that has been made in reporting MPI in recent years… From almost no reporting, we now have 41 countries disaggregating their multidimensional poverty estimates for children in the SDG database …This highlights that with a push we can achieve universal measurement and reporting, which would just be a tremendous step forward.’

‘The fundamental ingredient to change that we see is government commitment, political will and the impact that champions of this work have… We look forward to continuing and building our relationship and collaboration towards universal routine measurement of multidimensional poverty and ensuring that children are fully included in poverty debates.’

James Foster, Vice Dean and Professor, George Washington University
‘I now see the MPI and other poverty measures as intrinsically connected to leadership. How? Leaders have the courage to see and announce the truth. Leaders have the courage to be held accountable, and to also hold colleagues accountable, for the sake of the impoverished. Leaders have the stature to communicate information to the wider public, so youth, private sector, citizen groups, and others join in the work of building equity, however they can. And to be such a leader, in these times of big data, one needs to choose, understand, and advocate using rigorous measures. I hope that the MPI is one of these.’

Michelle Muschett, Senior Public Policy Advisor, OPHI, University of Oxford
‘Exactly a month ago, OPHI launched its inaugural Executive Education Leaders Programme. This five-day course provided public leaders and high-level policy makers with practical knowledge to deepen their understanding of the potential uses of the MPI as a policy tool.’

‘The inaugural Leaders Programme is the first step in this new wonderful journey for OPHI and we’re willing to continue joining efforts with all MPPN and participant institutions to better support today’s leaders in the use of the MPI to unleash the transformative power of public policy and build a more equitable future for the benefit of all.’