How is the Alkire-Foster method used in policy?

The Alkire-Foster (AF) method  can be used to create national measures of poverty, well-being and empowerment. Given its flexibility it can be adapted to different context and reflect the needs and priorities of a country, region or specific group. The possible uses of the measures can be related to measuring poverty, monitoring poverty reduction, targeting regions or specific groups, budget allocation, coordinate policies, among other important uses.

The flexibility of the method means that different dimensions and indicators can be selected to create measures adapted to particular contexts.

Read about policy applications of the AF method in OPHI’s brochure ‘Measuring Multidimensional Poverty: Insights from Around the World’ (OPHI Briefing 30).

Watch a video about how the AF method of multidimensional measurement is being applied at the global, national and institutional level.

Current applications of the AF method

An international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries and more than 800 sub-national regions.

 National multidimensional poverty measures

Mppn meeting

Several countries have already launched official national poverty measures, with many others in the process of developing theirs.

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index

Bhutan GNH

A measurement tool that includes less traditional aspects of culture and psychological well-being.


A ground-breaking tool to measure the empowerment, agency and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector.