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Multidimensional Poverty Index

Published: 18th Jul, 2019

The 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) projected that about 3 billion people live in multidimensional poverty globally.


The 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) projected that about 3 billion people live in multidimensional poverty globally.


Highlights of UN Report

  • The report shows that the experience of poverty can differ within the same household, and that half of children and young people under the age of 18 are considered to be ‘multi-dimensionally poor’.
  • The report not only considers income indicators but also indicators of health, education, and standard of living, thus providing a single ‘headline measure’ of countries progress on at least seven different SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
  • It uses ten indicators namely nutrition, sanitation, child mortality, drinking water, years of schooling, electricity, school attendance, housing, cooking fuel and assets to assess the severity and nature of deprivation around the world.
  • It draws on a study of 101 countries, of which 31 are low-income countries, 68 are middle-income, and 2 are high-income, covering more than three-quarters of the global population.
  • The report identifies 10 countries, with a population of around 2 billion people, which have shown statistically significant progress towards achieving SDG 1, namely “in all ending poverty its forms, everywhere”. The 10 countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam.
  • The report also showed that children suffer poverty more intensely than adults and are more likely to be deprived in all 10 of the MPI indicators, lacking essentials such as clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education.
  • Child poverty fell markedly faster than adult poverty in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, India and Peru. But children fell further behind in Ethiopia, and their progress—together with that of adults—stalled in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Pakistan.
  • The vast majority of these children, around 85 per cent, live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, split roughly equally between the two regions.

India's Context

  • India and Cambodia reduced their MPI values the fastest — and they did not leave the poorest groups behind. India’s MPI value reduced from 0.283 in 2005-06 to 0.123 in 2015-16.
  • India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, recording the fastest reductions in the multidimensional poverty index values during the period with strong improvements in areas such as “assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition.
  • According to the report, Jharkhand in India reduced the incidence of multidimensional poverty from 74.9 % in 2005-06 to 46.5 % in 2015-16. Mondol Kiri and Rattanak Kiri in Cambodia reduced it from 71.0 % to 55.9 % between 2010 and 2014.
  • In 2005-2006, the population in India living in multidimensional poverty stood at about 640 million people (55.1 %) and this reduced to 369 million people (27.9 %) living in poverty in 2015-16.
  • India saw significant reductions in number of people who are multidimensionally poor and deprived in each of the 10 indicators over this time period.
  • India reduced deprivation in nutrition, child mortality, people deprived of cooking fuel, deprivation in sanitation and those deprived of drinking water.

MPI Index

  • It is an international measure of acute multidimensional poverty covering over 100 developing countries.
  • It complements traditional monetary-based poverty measures by capturing the acute deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards.
  • The global MPI was developed by OPHI with the UNDP for inclusion in UNDP’s flagship Human Development Report (HDR) in 2010.
  • It is based on the idea that poverty is multidimensional.

Major Poverty Alleviation Programs in India

Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)

  • Launched in 1975, the scheme is the foremost symbol of country’s commitment to its children and nursing mothers, as a response to the challenge of providing pre-school non-formal education on one hand and breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition, morbidity, reduced learning capacity and mortality on the other.

MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act)

  • It was enacted in 2005, which provides a legal guarantee for 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work at the statutory minimum wage.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) is monitoring the entire implementation of this scheme in association with state governments

National Food Security Act, 2013

  • It was enacted with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity.

Deendayal Upadhyay Antyodaya Yojana (DAY)

  • The scheme was launched in 2014 for upliftment of urban and rural poor through enhancement of livelihood opportunities through skill development and other means.

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