What is the aim of the MPPN? Reflections from the 2016 Annual Meeting

10 February, 2017
Michelle Muschett, Deputy Minister of Social Development of Panama.

In June 2013, high-level representatives from 16 countries met in Oxford, United Kingdom to launch the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network, a platform of countries aimed at eradicating poverty in its many dimensions. After almost four years, the network has grown to include 53 countries and 14 international organizations. What is it that has attracted this many participants? We asked some of the delegates.

Each year, the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) convenes high-level representatives, including ministers and deputy prime ministers, to exchange experiences on multidimensional poverty measurements in their countries. Last November, the fourth annual high-level meeting was held in Acapulco, Mexico and we wanted to know the participants’ opinions on the role of the network and that of the meeting.


What is the purpose of the meeting and the network?

More than a hundred participants attended the meeting in Acapulco, some of which had to travel thousands of kilometres to reach the capital city of the state of Guerrero. One of them was Ou Quingping, Vice-Minister, State Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development, who emphasized that the MPPN is an international benchmark for the reduction of poverty: “which indicates that the international community has a deeper understanding of poverty. ” Quingping added: “We are pleased to see that some developing countries have applied the concept of multidimensional poverty in the Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that’s progress. ”

Héctor Cárdenas, Minister of Social Action of Paraguay stated that: “the meeting itself is very interesting. It allows to see the stages of the Multidimensional Poverty Index’s developing in other countries “. “This event is fundamental (…) this is global, it is a matter of humanity. Borders are excuses that delimit our responsibility to a specific population, but it is an issue for all of humanity. The problem is not limited by borders,” said Michelle Muschett, deputy minister of Social Development of Panama.

South Africa was represented by Pali Lehohla, Director-General of Statistics, who highlighted that the network is a guide that shows the path to countries that are implementing multidimensional measurement, thereby providing a cohesive route of implementation for all and “giving rationality to the discussion”. For her part, Ana Monge of the Social Council of the Presidency of Costa Rica stated that the network’s exchange of experiences gives great support to participating governments: “it is fundamental to implement these lessons and give our own contributions.”

The MPPN also includes a set of international agencies. Luis Felipe López-Calva from the World Bank, stressed that such meetings “are very important for the countries that are beginning to use these tools and also for those who have a permanent dialogue with the governments. It is very interesting for me to see the experiences of different countries.”

Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian, director of the Social Inclusion Department of the Organization of American States, participated for the first time at this annual meeting of the MPPN. She stated that the meeting is an important forum for “learning from the public policies that have been designed to combat poverty. That is the value of having a network where we all work together to measure it and determine how to tackle it. “

“China was one of the first countries to join the MPPN and we are pleased with its development. We will continue to support it ”

Ou Quingping, China

Khalid Abu-Ismail of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) stressed the importance of this meeting both in the technical discussion of and networking for policy implementation. “There is a lot to learn about what can be done and what should be avoided … It is interesting to go from the most academic to towards what really works.”

For Martin Evans from Unicef, the MPPN provides an opportunity to learn from the current practices using MPIs in the case of children: “We are pleased with the help provided by the MPPN on this issue.”

Noel González, Coordinator of Amexcid International Fora, stated that “this network has great value. For the Mexican Agency for Development and Cooperation, this is an area in which we can participate to support and promote the exchange of this type of knowledge from what is known as South-South Cooperation.”


What have been the achievements of the MPPN?

“We should be proud of what the network has achieved. Just one year ago we had 35 members, today we have more than 50” said Tatyana Orozco, director of the Department of Social Prosperity of Colombia, one of the first countries in the world to implement a national measurement of multidimensional poverty and also a founding member of the MPPN.

According to Orozco, another of the achievements of the MPPN, is the fact that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), recently agreed by the United Nations Organization, propose the elimination of poverty in all its dimensions including the measurement of poverty beyond income through target 1.2.

Gonzalo Hernández Licona, Executive Secretary of the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval) of Mexico highlighted, as one of the achievements of the MPPN, that the World Bank report “Monitoring Global Poverty”, led by the late Sir Tony Atkinson, has included multidimensional poverty measurement within its recommendations.

He also pointed out that the MPPN’s efforts have resulted in ten countries initiating official national measures of multidimensional poverty in just four years; “a real mark of success” according to González Licona.

“We have seen the development of the MPPN from the outset, from having few members to now with more than 50 countries and international agencies … China was one of the first countries to join the MPPN and we are pleased with its development. We will continue to support it,” said Ou Quingping, Vice-Minister, State Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development.

Fundamental Work

The Chilean representative, Heidi Berner, Under-Secretary of Social Evaluation of the Ministry of Social Development, stressed that “the work of this network … is fundamental for these issues, which transcend national governments, to be resolved”. Marie-Josee Bonne, Special Adviser to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports of The Seychelles, stated her desire for the network to continue to support countries in the development of their respective national MPIs.

Finally, Susset Rosales, a researcher from Cuba’s Ministry of Economy and Planning, highlighted the work the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative has done for the network, “the act of bringing together all these countries in search of techniques to design and then implement policies to defeat poverty is utterly fabulous to me and very necessary. ”


Complete testimonies are available here.


* Translated from Spanish into English by Ariadna Martin and Alexander Cavan, UN Volunteers. Revised by Ann Barham.