Participatory Methods

How do we design an MPI? Clearly, policy makers are and should be deeply involved. It can be equally fundamental to reach out to poor people and communities, to ensure that their expertise and wisdom informs the definition of multidimensional poverty, and shapes the policy responses. Participatory exercises are used to:

  • Understand the dimensions, indicators, weights and cutoffs that poor people use to define poverty.
  • Give intuition and human stories of why each deprivation is important. .
  • See what problems affect very different communities (urban/rural, young/old, east/west)
  • Recognise how poor communities are agents in the fight against poverty.

A very good example of how participatory exercises were distilled into a national MPI is the case of El Salvador.