[Solved] “Incidence and intensity of poverty are most important in determining poverty based on income alone”. In this context analyse the latest United Nations Multi Poverty Index report. (UPSC GS -2 Mains 2020)

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute multidimensional poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional monetary poverty measures by capturing the acute deprivations in health, education, and living standards that a person faces simultaneously. This helps in understanding the incidence and intensity of poverty are most important in determining poverty based on income

Why use a multidimensional approach?

Financial-based poverty measures can miss a lot.

  • Studies have revealed that the overlap between monetary and non-monetary measures of poverty is not perfect.
  • In most cases, not all individuals who are income poor are multidimensionally poor and not all multidimensionally poor individuals are income poor.
  • Both monetary and non-monetary measures of poverty are needed to better inform the policies intended to address the needs and deprivations faced by poor populations.

Economic progress does not always reduce poverty or deprivation.

 Several studies have found that economic grow is not strongly associated with a reduction in other deprivations, such as child malnutrition or child mortality.

Poor people describe their experience of poverty as multidimensional.

  • Participatory exercises reveal that poor people describe ill-being to include poor health, nutrition, lack of adequate sanitation and clean water, social exclusion, low education, bad housing conditions, violence, shame, disempowerment and much more. Read, for example, about the participatory process of defining the dimensions and indicators in El Salvador.
  • The more policy-relevant information there is available on poverty, the better-equipped policymakers will be to reduce it.
  • For example, an area in which most people are deprived in education requires a different poverty reduction strategy from an area in which most people are deprived in housing conditions.
  • Some methods for multidimensional measurement, such as the Alkire-Foster method, can be used for additional purposes.
  • Beyond measuring poverty and wellbeing, the Alkire-Foster method can be adapted to target services and conditional cash transfers or to monitor the performance of programmes.
  • The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) combines two factors of poverty, namely the incidence which is the percentage of people who are poor.
  • This is the headcount ratio of multidimensional poverty (H). In addition, there is the intensity of multidimensional poverty (A) which takes the account of the average percentage of dimensions in which poor people are deprived where the three dimensions of poverty are health, education, and standard of living.
  • The MPI is calculated by multiplying the poverty headcount by the intensity of poverty, MPI = H x A (Incidence x Intensity).
  • The Global Multi Poverty Index is released by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It covers 107 developing countries.

Indicators used by it are:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Living standards

MPI = incidence x average intensity

India is 62nd among 107 countries with an MPI score of 0.123.

According to the report, India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, (reduced from 0.283 in 2005-06 to 0.123 in 2015-16) recording the fastest reductions in the multidimensional poverty index values during the period with strong improvements in areas such as assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition.

Significance of the report:

  • Helps in identifying the most vulnerable and the poorest among the poor.
  • Reveals spatial and regional variations
  • Can help governments and NGOs in targeted policy making and measures

The best thing about the MPI is that it not just gives a far reaching and top to bottom portrayal of global poverty in the entirety of its measurements yet in addition notices progress towards SDG 1 – to end poverty in the entirety of its structures. That turns out to be more significant when the critical discoveries of the 2020 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) express that India has recorded the greatest decrease in the quantity of multi-dimensionally needy individuals around 273 million between 2005-06 and 2015-16.

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