Listen to The Economist interview OPHI Director, Sabina Alkire, on the new Multidimensional Poverty Index, launched by OPHI and the UNDP Human Development Report Office in July 2010.
Job title: Programme Manager
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Irini supports OPHI’s portfolio of projects from their conception and design, through to their implementation and closure, focusing on contract negotiation, communications, allocation of resources, performance monitoring and reporting.
Before joining OPHI, Irini worked as a Programme Associate for the UNHCR in Lesvos, Greece and held other project and events management positions at the University of Oxford.
MSc History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
This brief, focusing on Egypt, moves away from standard income poverty assessments and explores multidimensional poverty in this IsDB Member Country. It brings to light multidimensional poverty as experienced at the national and subnational levels, providing a basis by which IsDB country programmes and government policies can be crafted.
The brief highlights the nuances of countries’ multidimensional poverty situations through a systematic analytical framework, bringing out, for example, variations across sub-regions, between urban and rural populations, and across age groups. This brief also tracks and highlights success stories, such as in Assuit, which made exemplary progress in reducing multidimensional poverty.
Citation: OPHI and IsDBI (2022). ‘Exploring Multidimensional Poverty in Egypt using the Global MPI’, IsDBI–OPHI Brief No. 6, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and IsDBI (Islamic Development Bank Institute), Oxford, UK.
Cameroon has witnessed substantial economic growth in the new millennium, while poverty reduction has been limited and inequality has worsened. In this context, this paper investigates the different facets of poverty in Cameroon, the factors affecting them, and policy options to tackle poverty and achieve inclusive and sustainable development. We apply two prominent poverty measurement methods (Alkire–Foster and Foster–Greer–Thorbecke) to a series of household consumption and living standards (ECAM) surveys and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) collected between 2001 and 2018, and perform various empirical analyses to elucidate poverty dynamics and features. Our results indicate that both monetary and multidimensional poverty decreased in Cameroon between 2001 and 2018, albeit slowly and to varying degrees across the different demographic, socio-economic, and spatial groups of the population. We find that the proportion of multidimensional poor people was always higher than the proportion of the monetary poor. At the same time, multidimensional poverty has reduced much faster than monetary poverty at the national level. Lastly, we find that higher levels of poverty in Cameroon are strongly associated with rural livelihoods, large family size, less education, employment in agriculture, and the northern regions of the country. Our microeconomic analysis is complemented with a review of structural factors affecting poverty at the macro level. We point out the need to accelerate the structural transformation of the Cameroonian economy to reduce inequalities across the different regions and subgroups of the population and expand economic opportunities for the youth to achieve the demographic dividend.
Citation: Andrianarison, F., Housseini, B., and Oldiges, C. (2022). ‘Dynamics and determinants of monetary and multidimensional poverty in Cameroon’, OPHI Working Paper 141, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, University of Oxford.
Job title: Visiting Fellow
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Dasho Karma Ura has been the Executive President of The Centre for Bhutan Studies since 2008. From 1989 to 1998, he worked in the Planning Commission of Bhutan before joining the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies. He is a member of several international boards and working groups including the Advisory Board of the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford, the Earth Trusteeship Working Group (ETWG), the Global Happiness Council in the UAE, and the World Happiness Report.
BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Magdalen College, University of Oxford, UK.
MPhil in Economics, University of Edinburgh, UK.
PhD, Nagoya University, Japan.
Development policies; GNH (Gross National Happiness); wellbeing policy indicators; Buddhist iconographic painting and designs.
Ura, K. (2022). The Unremembered Nation – Bhutan, Community and Livelihood, Vol. 1 Oxford: OUP (forthcoming in July 2022).
Ura, K. (2022). The Unremembered Nation – Bhutan, Art and Ideals, Vol 2. Oxford: OUP (forthcoming in July 2022).
Ura, K. (1995). The hero with a thousand Eyes: A historical novel. Thimphu: Karma Ura.
Ura, K., Alkire, S., Zangmo, T., and Wangdi, K. (2012). An extensive Analysis of GNH. Thimphu: Centre for Bhutan Studies & GNH Research.
Ura, K. and Thinley, J. (Trans). (2020) Discourse on the legal decree of Precious Palden Drukpa, victorious in all directions. Thimphu: Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies.
Ura, K. (2019). In Mearman, A., Berger, S., and Guizza, D. (Eds.). What is heterodox economics? Conversation with leadings economists (pp. 82–93). Routledge.
Ura, K. (2016). Longchen’s forests of poetry and rivers of composition: Introduction and translation of “The illuminating map – titled as forest park of flower garden – of Bumthang, the divine hidden land” by Longchen Ramjam (1308-1363). Thimphu: Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies.
Ura, K. (2016). Gross National Happiness, values education and schooling for sustainability in Bhutan. In Gorana, R. N. and Kanaujia, P. R. (Eds.), Reorienting educational efforts for sustainable development: Experiences from South Asia, pp. 71–88. Netherlands: Springer. Ura, K. (2017). Bhutan’s Indian rupee shortage: Macroeconomic causes and cures. In Mitra, S., and Jeong, H. Y. (Eds.), Bhutan: New pathways to growth. New Delhi: ADB and Oxford University Press.
Ura, K. (2017). The experience of Gross National Happiness as a development framework. In Mitra, S., and Jeong, H. Y. (Eds.), Bhutan: New pathways to growth. New Delhi: ADB and Oxford University Press.
Ura, K. (2016). Balancing GDP with GNH. In Thomas, S. T. (Ed.), Globalization and development: In search of new development paradigm (Vol. III), pp. 3–38. London and New York: Routledge.
Ura, K. (2013). Destiny of Nations. In Redeveloping America. UK/US: McMillan.
Ura, K. (1997). Development and tradition. In Schickgruber, C. and Pommaret, F. (Eds.), Mountain fortress of the gods, pp. 239–252. London: Serindia Publications.
Ura, K. (1994). Development and decentralization in medieval and modern Bhutan. In Aris, M., and Hutt, M. (Eds.), Bhutan: Aspects of culture and development. Scotland: Paul Strachan – Kiscadale Ltd.
Ura, K., Stringer, R., and Bulte, E. (2009). Wildlife and Human Conflicts in Bhutan. In Lipper, L., Sakuyama, T., Stringer, R., and Zilberman, D. (Eds.), Payment for environmental services in agricultural landscapes. Natural Resource Management and Policy, (Vol. XXXI). New York: Springer.
Ura, K. (1993). The nomads’ gamble: Pastoralists of northern Bhutan. In South Asia Research (Vol. XIII), pp. 81–101. School of Oriental and African Studies.
Ura, K. and Pablos, P. O. d. (Eds.). (2012). Advancing technologies for Asian business and economics: Information management developments. US: Information Science Reference, IGI Global.
Ura, K and Santos, E. (2008). Multidimensional Poverty Measurement of Poverty in Bhutan. Journal of Bhutan Studies, 18 (1). pp. 1–50.
OPHI and the World Food Programme analysed the impact on multidimensional poverty of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme for refugees in Turkey, one of the largest humanitarian cash transfer schemes in the world. This report develops a tailor-made refugee Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and then uses it to assess the impact of the programme on beneficiaries, demonstrating an important application of the MPI for designing more effective poverty reduction programmes.
This report was commissioned by WFP with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
Citation: OPHI and WFP (2022). Meta-Analysis of the impact and lessons learned for implementation of the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) programme in Turkey (2016–20). Part 2: Focus Areas 2 and 3, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and World Food Programme (WFP).
This paper presents mpitb a toolbox for multidimensional poverty indices (MPI). The Stata package mpitb comprises several subcommands to facilitate specification, estimation, and analyses of MPIs and supports the popular Alkire-Foster framework to multidimensional poverty measurement. mpitb offers several benefits to researchers, analysts and practitioners working on MPIs, including substantial time savings (e.g., due to lower data management and programming requirements) while allowing for a more comprehensive analysis at the same time. Moreover, the toolbox encourages to report standard errors or confidence intervals.
Citation: Suppa, N. (2022). ‘mpitb: A toolbox for multidimensional poverty indices,’ OPHI Research in Progress 62a, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.
Despite the many simultaneous deprivations faced by forcibly displaced communities, such as food insecurity, inadequate housing, or lack of access to education, there is little research on the level and composition of multidimensional poverty among them, and how it might differ from that of host communities. Relying on household survey data from selected areas of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan, this paper proposes a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) that captures the overlapping deprivations experienced by poor individuals in contexts of displacement. Using the MPI, the paper presents multi-country descriptive analysis to explore the relationships between multidimensional poverty, displacement status, and gender of the household head. The results reveal significant differences across displaced and host communities in all countries except Nigeria. In Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan, female-headed households have higher MPIs, while in Somalia, those living in male-headed house- holds are more likely to be identified as multidimensionally poor. Lastly, the paper examines mismatches and overlaps in the identification of the poor by the MPI and the $1.90/ day poverty line, confirming the need for complementary measures when assessing deprivations among people in contexts of displacement.
This paper has previously been published in World Bank’s Policy Research Working Papers series (No. 9826): Admasu, Yeshwas; Alkire, Sabina; Ekhator-Mobayode, Uche Eseosa; Kovesdi, Fanni; Santamaria, Julieth; Scharlin-Pettee, Sophie. 2021. A Multi-Country Analysis of Multidimensional Poverty in Contexts of Forced Displacement. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 9826. World Bank, Washington, DC. ©World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Citation: Admasu, Y, Alkire, S, Ekhator-Mobayode, U.E., Kovesdi, F., Santamaria, J. and Scharlin-Pettee, S. (2022). ‘A multi-country analysis of multidimensional poverty in contexts of forced displacement’, OPHI Working Paper 140, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.
This paper examines multidimensional poverty among forcibly displaced populations, using a gendered lens. Although past studies have explored poverty in forcibly displaced contexts, and others have looked at the relationship between multidimensional poverty and gender, none has brought together these three issues – multidimensional poverty, forcibly displaced persons, and gender. A tailored measure of multidimensional poverty is developed and applied for refugees and internally displaced populations in five Sub-Saharan African settings substantially affected by forced displacement – Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. The gendered analysis builds on prior analysis of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by examining individual-level deprivations of women and men in forcibly displaced households and host communities, as well as synthesizing intrahousehold dynamics of multidimensional poverty in forcibly displaced communities. The results provide insights into the educational constraints of boys and girls living in forcibly displaced households, the labor market inequalities experienced by men and women in these communities, and their differential access to legal documentation and employment as part and parcel of the forced displacement experience.
This paper has previously been published in World Bank’s Policy Research Working Papers series (No. 9823): Admasu, Yeshwas; Alkire, Sabina; Scharlin-Pettee, Sophie. 2021. Multidimensional Poverty, Gender, and Forced Displacement: A Multi-Country, Intrahousehold Analysis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 9823. World Bank, Washington, DC. ©World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Citation: Admasu, Y., Alkire, S. and Scharlin-Pettee, S. (2022). ‘Multidimensional poverty, gender, and forced displacement: A multi-country, intrahousehold analysis in Sub-Saharan Africa’, OPHI Working Paper 139, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.
This report by the Maldives Bureau of Statistics analyses the vulnerability of the population of Maldives to poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic using a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).
The MVI identifies the vulnerable population who face more than three vulnerabilities to COVID-19, shows where these vulnerable groups live, and which deprivations increase their vulnerability. The MVI is, thus, a policy tool to direct action towards the most needed groups during COVID-19.
The index is based on data from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019 (HIES 2019) and includes five dimensions measured at the household level: education, employment, health, housing and basic services. These dimensions have been selected to include the dimensions captured in the Maldives’ national MPI (launched in 2020 and based on 2016 data), and also to capture the impact of the pandemic on households.
Key findings include:
- 29.4% of the population is multidimensionally vulnerable to poverty and experiences, on average, close to half of the weighted deprivations (47.6%). The overall MVI is 0.140.
- Multidimensionally vulnerable individuals face the highest levels of deprivation in access to safe drinking water; living in a household with at least one youth who is not in education, employment or training (NEET); and, access to improved sanitation, followed by access to internet or IT assets.
- 50% of the population living in the Atolls and 7% of the population in Male’ are vulnerable. The profile of overlapping deprivations in the Atolls and Male’ share some attributes, but are not the same. For instance, the dimension of basic services contributes the most to overall vulnerability in the Atolls, whereas the opposite is true in Male’.
- Children under 18 years old and the elderly aged 65 and above are the most multidimensionally vulnerable age groups.
- Households with any member living with disabilities experience significantly higher levels of multidimensional vulnerability than households without any member living with disabilities.
Citation: MBS (2022). A Multidimensional Vulnerability Index for the Maldives in Times of Covid-19. Maldives Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure. Maldives.
Evidence indicates that poverty worldwide is concentrated in rural areas, and that agriculture is central to the livelihoods and food security of these population groups. This extended and jointly authored report with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) articulates a conceptual framework for measuring multidimensional poverty in rural areas, and develops a rural Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
The rural MPI is applied to four countries – Malawi, Ethiopia, Niger and Nigeria – and presents exciting new insights relevant for policymakers, academics and practitioners working on rural poverty alleviation.
The first part of the report proposes a framework for measuring multidimensional poverty in rural areas and describes the motivation for the Rural Multidimensional Poverty Index (R-MPI) proposal, which departs from the established global Multidimensional Poverty Index (global MPI), first designed in 2010 as an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries, by adding modifications in the dimensions and embedded indicators. The second part of this report presents an empirical test of the proposed R-MPI, using data from four household surveys conducted in Ethiopia, Malawi, the Niger, and Nigeria which are harmonized within the Rural Livelihoods Information System (RuLIS).
Citation: FAO and OPHI (2022). Measuring Rural Poverty with a Multidimensional Approach: The Rural Multidimensional Poverty Index. FAO Statistical Development Series, No. 19. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).