Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 was recently released by “United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)” and “Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI)”.
Key findings of Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021
Worldwide, across 109 countries and 5.9 billion people:
- 1.3 billion people are multidimensionally poor.
- About half (644 million) are children under age 18.
- Nearly 85 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa (556 million) or South Asia (532 million).
- More than 67 percent live in middle-income countries.
But what is the day-to-day reality of life for multidimensionally poor people? The data paint a grim picture:
- 1 billion each are exposed to solid cooking fuels, inadequate sanitation and substandard housing.
- 788 million live in a household with at least one undernourished person.
- 568 million lack improved drinking water within a 30-minute roundtrip walk.
- Scheduled Tribe group in India, which accounts for 9.4 percent of the population, is poorest. Out of 129 million people, 65 million are living in multidimensional poverty.
- Out of 283 million scheduled caste group people, 94 million are living in multidimensional poverty.
- In all, five out of six multidimensionally poor people live in households whose head is from a Scheduled Tribe, a Scheduled Caste or Other Backward Class (OBCs).
Back to basics
About Global Multidimensional Poverty Index:
- MPI is produced /released annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
- The index shows the proportion of poor people and the average number of deprivations each poor person experiences at the same time.
MPI uses three dimensions and ten indicators:
- Education: Years of schooling and child enrollment (1/6 weightage each, total 2/6)
- Health: Child mortality and nutrition (1/6 weightage each, total 2/6)
- Standard of living: Electricity, flooring, drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel and assets (1/18 weightage each, total 2/6)
- A person is multidimensionally poor if she/he is deprived in one third or more (means 33% or more) of the weighted indicators (out of the ten indicators).
- Those who are deprived in one half or more of the weighted indicators are considered living in extreme multidimensional poverty.
Comparison with Human Development Index (HDI)
- HDI, the Human Development Index, was developed by Mahbub ul Haq and Amartya Sen, in 1990, and was also developed by the UNDP.
- It is calculated as the geometric mean of the normalized indices of the three dimensions of human development; it takes into account: health, education and standard of living. UNDP has a separate version of the HDI named the IHDI (Inequality-adjusted HDI).
- While both the HDI and the MPI use the 3 broad dimensions health, education and standard of living, the HDI uses indicators at the aggregate level while MPI uses micro data and all indicators must come from the same survey. This, amongst other reasons, has led to the MPI only being calculated for just over 100 countries, where data is available for all these diverse indicators, while HDI is calculated for almost all countries.
- However, though HDI is thus more universally applicable, its relative sparsity of indicators also makes it more susceptible to bias. Indeed, some studies have found it to be somewhat biased towards GDP per capita, as demonstrated by a high correlation between HDI and the log of GDPpc. Hence, HDI has been criticized for ignoring other development parameters.
Facts at a Glance: NITI Aayog as the nodal agency has been assigned the responsibility of leveraging the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to drive reforms. Global MPI is part of Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select Global Indices. The objective of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise is to fulfil the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters and enable the utilisation of these Indices as tools for self-improvement, bring about reforms in policies, while improving last-mile implementation of government schemes.
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