Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020-21

The Global MPI stands for Multidimensional Poverty Index that is released by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The idea behind this index is to measure acute multidimensional poverty across developing countries using various indicators. It was developed by OPHI with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2010. It is a part of UNDP’s Human Development Report (HDR) and is released annually.

India ranked 62 in the Global MPI 2020 which ranked 107 countries. The MPI 2021 is to be released in July which is the month the index is released every year.

This article mentions the important facts about the global Multidimensional Poverty Index in general and the key findings of the MPI 2020 for the UPSC IAS Exam.

Get the global indices and India’s rankings in the linked article.

Brief Facts about the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

MPI – Facts for UPSC

Who publishes the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index? OCHI and UNDP
When is the index published? Annually [July]
How many countries are evaluated through this index? Usually, over 100 developing countries are evaluated. MPI 2020 presented 107 country-specific details
What are the three dimensions of Global MPI?
  • Health
  • Education
  • Living Standards
India’s Rank in Global MPI 2020 62
What is MPI Value? The MPI value is calculated by multiplying the

incidence of poverty by the average share of deprivations (H x A)

Measures of MPI
  • Incidence of Poverty
  • Intensity of Poverty
  • MPI Value
  • Number of Poor

Dimensions and Indicators of Global MPI

There are three dimensions and 10 indicators using which countries’ performances are measured. These are mentioned below:

Dimension Indicator
Health Nutrition
Child mortality
Education Years of Schooling
School Attendance
Living Standards Cooking Oil
Drinking Water

Multidimensional Poverty Index and SDGs

The measure of acute multidimensional poverty also keeps in check the performance of countries in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Targets:

  1. The ‘Health’ dimension covers the following SDGs areas:
    • SDG 2 – Zero Hunger
    • SDG 3 – Health and Well-Being
  2. The ‘Education’ dimension covers the following SDGs area:
    • SDG 4 – Quality Education
  3. The ‘Living Standards’ dimension covers the following SDGs areas:
    • SDG 1 – No Poverty
    • SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
    • SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

How is Deprivation measured using MPI’s indicators?

As per OCHI, the following points lead to deprivation of living in a household where:

  1. An undernourished person in the age group 0-70.
  2. A child between the ages of 0-18 has died in five-years preceding the survey for MPI.
  3. The six years of schooling hasn’t been completed by any eligible household
  4. The child in the school-going age isn’t attending school up to the age of when he/she should be in class 8.
  5. Solid fuel like cow dung, etc, is a cooking fuel in the household.
  6. The presence of unimproved or no sanitation facility. Improved sanitation facilities which are being shared with other households also lead to living deprivation.
  7. The unavailability of safe drinking water. Also, if the safe drinking water is only accessible after a walk of 30 minutes or longer from home, round trip.
  8. Absence of electricity in households.
  9. Inadequacy of housing materials in any of the three components: floor, roof, or walls.
  10. When households neither have a car nor truck but have only one of the following:
    • Radio
    • TV
    • Telephone
    • Computer
    • Animal cart
    • Bicycle
    • Motorbike
    • Refrigerator

The following points must be noted about Global MPI:

  1. It assesses poverty at an individual level.
  2. The individual is termed as ‘MPI Poor’ when he/she is deprived in one/third of the 10 indicators.
  3. The extent of individual poverty is measured through the percentage of deprivations they are experiencing.

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020 – Key Findings

  1. The theme of the MPI 2020 was ‘Charting Pathways out of Multidimensional Poverty: Achieving the SDGs.’
  2. 5.9 billion people in 107 developing countries were evaluated.
  3. Out of 5.9 billion people, the MPI 2020 termed 1.3 billion people as multidimensionally poor.
  4. It was the first time that OCHI and UNDP brought a first comprehensive study of harmonized MPI trends, also known as Changes over Time. This study indicated that 65 out of 75 countries reduced MPI significantly. The study included 80 countries with harmonised poverty trends. India was one of them.
  5. As 2020 was challenging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the MPI 2020 found out that 47 countries were on-track before the pandemic had hit.
  6. Given the pandemic’s effect, the index highlighted the need to pursue strategies to tackle poverty or the progress made by the countries could set back by up to a decade.

Important Facts presented by MPI 2020:

  1. 22% of people (of 107 countries) live in multidimensional poverty.
  2. Children are the most vulnerable as 644 million individuals out of 1.3 billion multidimensionally poor are children (Under 18 years of age.)
  3. The regions with multidimensional poverty are:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa – 558 million are MPI poor.
    • South Asia – 530 million are MPI poor.
  4. Middle-income countries home 2/3rd of MPI poor.
  5. 107 million MPI poor were the people in the age group of 60 and above
  6. What are countries that had fastly reduced their MPI value in absolute terms?
    • Sierra Leone
    • Mauritania
    • Liberia
    • Timor-Leste
    • Guinea
    • Rwanda
  7. What are the countries with the fastest relative poverty reduction?
    • North Macedonia
    • China
    • Armenia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Indonesia
    • Turkmenistan
    • Mongolia
  8. What are the countries that halved their MPI value?
    • Four countries including India halved their MPI Value.
  9. Nutrition and school attendance are the indicators in the focus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The report mentions that work on these two indicators is much needed to retain the gains made in the last decade.
  10. There is a negative, moderate but statistically significant correlation between the incidence of multidimensional poverty and the coverage of three doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) vaccine.
  11. The index included environmental deprivation:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa had acute environmental deprivation with its 547 million people being MPI poor and facing at least one environmental deprivation.
    • 486 million people of South Asia are MPI poor and lack access to one of the three environment indicators.

Global MPI – India & its Neighbours

The MPI collects data using India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS). India scored 0.123 in MPI 2020 with a rank of 62. The headcount ratio of India in Global MPI 2020 was 27.91%.

The MPI ranks of India’s Neighbours in 2020 were:

  1. Sri Lanka – 25
  2. Nepal – 65
  3. Bangladesh – 58
  4. China – 30
  5. Myanmar – 69
  6. Pakistan – 73

In India, Multidimensional Poverty Index Coordination Committee (MPICC) is the nodal agency for MPI.

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