New approach to measuring poverty discussed BISP to use diverse metrics to assess economic well-being of people

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Zubair Qureshi

Director of the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative Professor Dr Sabina Alkire on Friday gave a unique perspective to poverty measurement at a Roundtable Conference on “Multidimensional Poverty and Accelerated Poverty Reduction” through Ehsaas programme.
Talking about poverty measurement, Dr Alkire said, “The measurement of poverty needs to take into account multi-faceted nature of deprivations faced by the poor”.
She shared the salient findings of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2019 with particular reference to South Asia, China and Latin America.
Dr Alkire works on a new approach to measuring poverty and well-being that goes beyond the traditional focus on income and growth. This multidimensional approach to measurement includes social goals, such as health, education, nutrition, standard of living and other valuable aspects of life.
The roundtable discussion will help inform the first-ever update of the MPI in 2020, as well as assess how the MPI can be used to measure progress on poverty reduction through Ehsaas.
Speaking on the occasion, BISP Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar said “Pakistan will use both the income and multidimensional metrics for poverty measurement and Ehsaas will ensure all anti-poverty interventions are monitored and evaluated with accurate data.”
Only then will we be able to design evidence-based policies to reduce multidimensional poverty at the local level, she said.
Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform first launched Pakistan’s national MPI in 2016 to complement conventional poverty estimates based on consumption data with a non-monetary approach.
The index offered an alternative tool fornational, provincial and local governments to understand and respond to the key drivers of poverty in their districts based on education, health and standard of living indicators.
The roundtable convened federal and provincial government leaders, academics, and UN agencies to discuss the development of the 2020 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), and how it can be leveraged to create accelerated, strong and lasting anti-poverty interventions in Pakistan. Also, present at the occasion were, Aliona Niculita, Deputy Resident Representative UNDP, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Member National Assembly and Kanwal Shauzeb, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

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