UNDP and OPHI launch Handbook on Building National Multidimensional Poverty Index

Posted On July 18, 2019

New York, July 18— UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) today jointly launched a Handbook – ‘How to Build a National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): Using the MPI to inform the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, on the margins of the 2019 High Level Political Forum.

The MPI goes beyond income as the sole indicator for poverty, by exploring the ways in which people experience poverty in their health, education, and standard of living. Currently several countries are developing national MPIs, which are adapted to reflect their own specific poverty priorities in their national contexts. To support countries engaging in this process, UNDP and OPHI have partnered to develop the handbook to provide detailed practical guidance for planners, policy makers and statisticians.

“National MPIs offer a tailored pathway to each country towards ending poverty. It can be a useful tool to monitor progress on the SDGs and it can be used for different policy purposes. For instance, to align programs, policies and budgets; to motivate the coordination between ministries, the coordination between national and subnational governments; or to strengthen transparency and accountability,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, University of Oxford explained the different variations and surveys used by different countries depending on their own country context to define the Multidimensional Poverty Index.

Gloria Amparo Alonso, Hon. Minister of the National Planning, Government of Colombia and  Riaz Fatyana, Convener, National SDG Parliamentary Task Force and Chairman of Standing Committee on Human Rights and Law, National Assembly of Pakistan shared their practical experiences in designing and using national MPI for tracking progress in the SDGs and reduce poverty in all its forms.

One of the main findings of the global MPI is that India has drastically reduced its poverty rate from 55% to 28% in ten years— moving 271 million people out of poverty between 2005/6 and 2015/16. Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser SDGs with the Government of India stated, “India embarked on some crucial programmes such as providing basic amenities to people in sanitation, infrastructure etc; better social protection programmes in terms of health care; and skill development, micro credit and financial inclusion programmes for small enterprises which has largely been responsible for moving people out of poverty.”

UNDP and OPHI global Multidimensional Poverty Index data shows that 1.3 billion people in the world are multidimensionally poor, with multiple deprivations, about 500 million more than the number of income poor.

Sangita Khadka | Communications Specialist | UNDP New York | email: sangita.khadka@undp.org | Tel: +1 212 906 5043