Tag Archives: freedoms

The Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data: An Introduction

The aim of this paper is to draw attention to ‘missing dimensions’ of poverty data – dimensions that are of value to poor people, but for which we have scant or no data. Amartya Sen frames development as the process of expanding the freedoms that people value and have reason to value. Although the most widely-known measure of human development includes income, longevity, and education, many have argued that people’s values, and consequently multidimensional poverty, extends beyond these domains. In order to advance these multiple areas, it is at times necessary to conduct empirical studies using individual or household-level data on multiple dimensions of poverty. A critical barrier for international analyses of multidimensional poverty is that few or no high-quality indicators are available across countries and respondents in key domains that are deeply important to poor people and of potentially critical instrumental importance.

Abridged Spanish version of Working Paper 00.
Working Paper 00 in Mandarin.

Citation: Alkire, S. (2007). “The Missing Dimensions: An Introduction.” OPHI Working Paper 00, University of Oxford.

Employment: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators

Employment is the main source of income for most families in the world. While it is certainly not a new dimension of well-being, it is sometimes forgotten in human development studies and poverty reduction policies or, at least, not considered in the depth it deserves. This paper proposed seven indicators of employment to be added to multi-purpose households surveys which, we argue, are crucial to a comprehensive understanding of causes and implications of poverty around the world. Traditional approaches to labour market indicators present two main weaknesses. First, in most cases, they are not as relevant in the developing world as they are in developed economies, and hence do not provide an accurate picture of labour markets in these countries. Second, surveys that collect a broader set of questions on employment do not always include extensive questions on the household and its members. The indicators proposed are informal employment; income from employment (including self-employment earnings); occupational hazard; under/over employment; multiple activities; and discouraged unemployment. The aim is to complement ‘traditional’ indicators to provide a deeper understanding of both the quantity and quality of employment.

Abridged Spanish version of Working Paper 02.
Working Paper 02 in Mandarin.

Citation: Lugo, M. A. (2007). ‘Employment:  A proposal for internationally comparable indicators’, OPHI Working Paper 02, University of Oxford.

Safety and Security: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators of Violence

Violence impedes human freedom to live safely and securely and can sustain poverty traps in many communities. One of the challenges for academic, policy makers, and practitioners working broadly in programmes aimed at poverty alleviation, including violence prevention, is the lack of reliable and comparable data on the incidence and nature of violence. This paper proposes a households survey module for a multidimensional poverty questionnaire which can be used to complement the available data on the incidence of violence against property and the person, as well as perceptions of security and safety. Violence and poverty are inextricably linked, although the direction of causality is contested if not circular. The module uses standardised definitions which are clear and can be translated cross-culturally and a clear disaggregation of different types of interpersonal violence (not including self-harm) which bridges the crime-conflict nexus.

Abridged Spanish version.

Citation: Diprose, R. (2007). Safety and security: A proposal for internationally comparable indicators of violence. OPHI Working Paper 1, University of Oxford.