Multidimensional Poverty Index

Building on the work of Amartya Sen, which calls for a "multidimensional view of poverty and deprivation," researchers at Oxford University have developed the Multidimensional Poverty Index. The index, to be adopted within the 2010 UNDP Human Development Report, characterizes poverty based on the proportion of households which lack certain basic material, educational and health needs, and thus are "multidimensionally poor." Crucially, the index is not all encompassing and many facets of poverty - e.g. issues of conflict, security and empowerment - go unaccounted for. Yet, the method uses existing data to achieve a more meaningful view of poverty.  It should help identify poverty better in a diverse and complex world.

By Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos

Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
July 2010

The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative Research Brief can be accessed here.