Editorial Dimensions 11

2 December, 2020

‘Let’s not waste this opportunity’ was the appeal made by Sania Nishtar, Pakistan’s Minister of Poverty Alleviation, at a high-level event on the side lines of the UN General Assembly, organised by the MPPN and OPHI, and co-hosted by the Governments of Chile and Pakistan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

At this gripping event, covered in this edition by Bestin Samuel, presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and representatives of international organisations stressed the need to use a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as a tool to coordinate, target and design public policies which confront the crisis provoked by COVID-19. We highlight insightful quotes from that event and return to one of the participating institutions, the Swedish Cooperation Agency (Sida), in an interview with Sida’s Lead Economist, Elina Scheja, by Felipe Roa-Clavijo.

One good example of how to use multidimensional measures to support countries’ efforts in responding to the pandemic is Honduras’ ‘Single Voucher’ (Bono Único). Honduras has developed a robust identification and selection process using the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to measure who is most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19. Maya Evans and Mónica Pinilla-Roncancio give us more details on this tool.

In this edition we also talk about dimensions and indicators. Jakob Dirksen shares an update of the dimensions and indicators most used by countries in their national multidimensional poverty indices, while Mónica Pinilla-Roncancio tackles the question of whether disability should be included in an MPI. These discussions are very relevant to the challenge of better measuring poverty in order to create informed public policies.

SOPHIA Oxford, a non-profit organisation linked to OPHI and in charge of implementing the business MPI, is working on incorporating a gender dimension. John Hammock and Ana Vaz briefly present this work. Finally, Frank Vollmer and Harriet Smith analyse the relationship between land use and the reduction of multidimensional poverty in Mozambique.

We invite you to read Dimensions, a new perspective for understanding poverty.

Carolina Moreno


This article was published in Dimensions 11


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