Revisions of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): Indicator options and their empirical assessment

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index or MPI is an internationally comparable measure of acute poverty that measures the simultaneous deprivation experienced by each person across the ten indicators that relate to the three major dimensions of human development: health, education and living standards. In 2018, five of the ten indicators that constitute the global MPI was revised. This was the first revision of the global MPI, but it reflects a stage that will occur in any multidimensional poverty measure as data improve and policy contexts change. This talk seeks to set out how such decadal measurement revisions should be considered, justified, and documented. Specifically our paper justifies several of the normative and policy reasonings underlying the decisions that were reached. More specifically, the paper illustrates how different types of information were synthesised to balance the very diverse demands, including conceptual demands for measuring functioning achievements, expert opinions, data availability and comparability, statistical tests, and trial measures of possible MPI indices.

About the speaker:
Usha currently leads the management and computation of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) project at OPHI. She has a DPhil from the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. Her DPhil work was focused on analysing structural factors at the macro, household and individual levels that explain the geographic differences in poverty levels in Indonesia. She has worked with the OPHI team since 2012. She has extensive experience in managing and analysing secondary data from large survey databases using STATA. Her previous field experience includes carrying out participatory poverty assessments in rural villages in Bangladesh, Indonesia and India. She holds an MSc in Sociology from the University of Oxford.