OPHI Executive Education: a new journey to support leaders and policymakers in their effort to confront poverty

4 February, 2022


By Michelle Muschett, OPHI Senior Policy Advisor and ExEd Director

Over a decade ago, Sabina Alkire and James Foster developed the Alkire-Foster (AF) method, a flexible technique for measuring multidimensional poverty, inequality, and wellbeing that goes beyond one-dimensional approaches to measure poverty such as income or consumption. Since then, the AF method has been widely used by governments, development agencies, NGOs, and even the private sector to build multidimensional measures grounded in people’s experiences and values, tailored to specific contexts. These multidimensional measures have been proven to be powerful tools to design and coordinate policies, allocate resources, and target beneficiaries.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is one of the best known applications of the Alkire-Foster method. The number of countries adopting national MPIs as official measures of poverty and interested in using them for policy is on the rise. However, to connect measurement with policy action, leadership and political commitment at the highest levels are essential.

OPHI Executive Education (ExEd) has been established to complement OPHI’s measurement work by focusing on the education of leaders and policymakers about the potential policy uses of the MPI and other Alkire-Foster-based measures.

OPHI builds upon OPHI’s trajectory as a global referent in multidimensional measurements, and the rich experience of a growing network of global champions committed to poverty reduction to inspire today’s leaders while also equipping them with resources to implement high-impact strategies.

OPHI ExEd’s inaugural course was carried out online from August 23-27 2021, under the title ‘Leaders Programme: Using the MPI as a policy tool’. The programme was carefully crafted to provide senior government officials and policymakers with practical knowledge and direct access to the world’s leading experts on multidimensional poverty reduction, to deepen their understanding of the policy uses of the MPI.

The first cohort of OPHI ExEd brought together 33 public leaders and policymakers from 20 countries across the world, including secretaries of state, deputy ministers, presidential advisors, directors from planning, social protection, and statistics departments, as well as high-level representatives from development agencies and the private sector. Through 15 hours of interactive lectures, workshops, conversations with global leaders, and practitioners’ panels based on real world cases, this five-day programme leveraged open discussions and networking with fellow policymakers.


During 2022, in addition to the second edition of the Leaders Programme, OPHI ExEd will offer an executive programme in Spanish.


A special feature of the inaugural Leaders Programme was that all lecturers, facilitators, and special guests have vast experience leading multidimensional poverty reduction efforts at international, national, and institutional levels. This list included Juan Manuel Santos (Nobel Peace Prize and former President of Colombia), Tshering Tobgay (former Prime Minister of Bhutan), Achim Steiner (UNDP Administrator), Ana Helena Chacón (former Vice President of Costa Rica), Margarita Cedeño (former Vice President of Dominican Republic), among other top-level practitioners and experts.

During 2022, in addition to the second edition of the Leaders Programme, OPHI ExEd will offer an executive programme in Spanish, and several executive trainings tailored to countries’ needs and demands. This is the first step of a wonderful new journey for OPHI with the hope of supporting leaders and policymakers to advocate for the policies today’s world needs to leave none behind.


For additional information about OPHI ExEd programmes and trainings:



This article was published in Dimensions 13



Executive Education Multidimensional Poverty OPHI