2016 – Summer School

Organised by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, in collaboration with the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) and Beijing Normal University (BNU), the 2016 Summer School will be hosted at Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China, 1-13 August 2016.

—Please note that applications for the 2016 Summer School are no longer being accepted.—

The purpose of this intensive summer school is to provide a thorough conceptual and technical introduction to some techniques of measuring multidimensional poverty with a strong emphasis on the Alkire Foster method.  Participants will revise axiomatic poverty measures, and will get an overview of different techniques of multidimensional poverty measurement and which problems they are best suited to solve. The empirical motivation for measuring multidimensional poverty will be presented as well as the conceptual motivation, drawing on Amartya Sen’s capability approach.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Axiomatic approaches to unidimensional and multidimensional poverty;
  • Methodologies to analyse multidimensional poverty – dashboard, stochastic dominance, information theory, fuzzy set, multiple correspondence analysis, unmet basic needs and counting approaches – and the problems each methodology best solves;
  • The Alkire Foster methodology of multidimensional poverty measurement;
  • Selection of parameters – purpose, unit of measure, dimensions, indicators, cut-offs and weights;
  • Estimation of multidimensional poverty and interpretation of the results;
  • Subgroup decomposition and mapping;
  • Multidimensional poverty dynamics;
  • Robustness tests, standard errors, and statistical inference
  • Econometric analysis of multidimensional poverty;
  • Institutions, policies, and communication.
The summer school will be led by the Researchers and Director of OPHI. Instructors include Sabina Alkire, James Foster, John Hammock, Adriana Conconi, Ana Vaz, Bilal Malaeb, Bouba Housseini, Christoph Jindra, Christian Oldiges, Gisela Robles Aguilar, Monica Pinilla, Usha Kanagaratnam & Yangyang Shen.

Course Format:

The summer school will consist of 10.5 days of instruction and working group sessions, taught in English. Each participant needs to bring a laptop with Stata with them to do the problem sets. Throughout the summer school, participants will be actively involved in discussions and working through problem sets, and will be invited to present their research work as well as share their experiences.

Dates and Location:

The course runs from Monday 1 August to Saturday 13 August with a final exam (non-compulsory) on Saturday 13 August. Classes will take place in Beijing, China.

Special Event:

An optional field trip to China’s anti-poverty policy targeting village will be offered on August 7th. If you are interested, you are welcome to apply (further details for the application will be made available soon).


The course fee is varied as follows:

  • $ 800 USD for all students, and for academic researchers based in developing countries;
  • $1500 USD for professionals based in developing countries; and
  • $2500 USD for professionals based in developed countries.

In addition, participants will need to pay for accommodation (further details regarding accommodation costs will be made available soon), meals ($20/day for modest fare), travel costs and the Stata software. Additionally, please note a Chinese visa may need to be applied for and obtained at the participant’s cost (please consult the Chinese embassy in your country for visa-related information). Invitation letters and visa permission will be provided to those accepted on the course.

Course Application Information

· Audience – The summer school is addressed to those who are working on, or actively interested in gaining skills in, multidimensional poverty measurement, particularly academics, postgraduate students, government officials and professionals. Applicants who are currently pursuing a research project or work on measurement are particularly welcome.  Other applicants having a demonstrated research interest in empirical analysis in these topics will be considered on the basis of their experience and space availability.

· Pre-requisites:

  • A demonstrable knowledge of Stata is an absolute pre-requisite for attending the course.  Every attendant to the summer school will need to have Stata 10 or higher installed in his/her laptop. The software is not provided by the summer school.
  • Where possible, participants should have a strong knowledge in quantitative methods (e.g. econometrics, statistics, etc), and a strong interest in poverty measurement and analysis.

· Financial Support – Limited partial financial support will be available (some of it earmarked for applicants from African NSOs). Competition for financial support will be very strong; however, well qualified and committed applicants with financial need are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are also highly encouraged to seek support from their local governments and institutions. We would be happy to provide support letters for these funding applications.

· Application Form – To apply, please complete the application form and submit a most recent curriculum vitae and sample Stata .do file. The application process is competitive; applicants will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided in their application. Candidates who cannot access the online application form may download and fill in this Excel form instead.

· Important Dates:

Monday 21 March 2016     Deadline for applicants requesting financial support

Sunday 17 April 2016            Final deadline

Tuesday 26 April 2016       First acceptance emails will be sent starting from this date

Questions? Please write to ophi-summerschool@qeh.ox.ac.uk.