To End Poverty We Need to Understand it Better

Sabina Alkire, Director at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, writing on the Huffington Post:

“Poverty is more than a lack of income. A million voices have already said it. So a post-2015 agenda in which the headline indicator is $1.25/day is likely to draw criticism. At the same time, crowding the anti-poverty agenda with competing indicators increases complexity and brakes momentum. Instead, setting development goals requires an integrated multidimensional poverty measure to draw attention to the real deprivations poor people describe – and live.

Multidimensional poverty, as participatory work of late has shown, includes poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, environmental degradation, lack of income, gender discrimination, poor quality of work and violence. Ending $1.25/day poverty is unlikely to mean the end of these many overlapping disadvantages.

In recognition of this, in September 2013, over 25 countries and institutions in theMultidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) proposed the consideration of a new headline indicator of multidimensional poverty for the post-2015 context – the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2015+.”

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