Revisiting Multidimensional Poverty in UPPR Towns

Feb 19, 2015

UPPR’s design is based on the understanding that poverty is more than lacking sufficient income. Poverty can also be reflected in a lack of access to basic services, education, or living conditions. For that reason, to measure progress in reducing poverty UPPR used in 2013 the multidimensional poverty index (MPI). MPI is a tool developed by UNDP and the Oxford Policy and Human Development Initiative that measures multiple deprivations across health, education and living standards. It allows counting the number of people who are multidimensionally poor and how many deprivations households have to deal with.

The 2013 MPI showed that in 12 towns, out of the 23 in which it operates, 33.3 percent was multi-dimensionally poor. Findings also indicated that households were in average deprived of 44.4 percent of the ten indicators the MPI measures(1).

In 2014, UPPR undertook a follow up study, revisiting 83 percent of the same households that had participated in the 2013 study. From a sample of 1,194 households in 12 towns, UPPR found that the percentage of households experiencing multidimensional poverty in 2013 had gone down to 23.5 percent. In addition, the intensity of poverty had also decreased, that is the average number of indicators in which households are deprived, to 40.3 percent. 

The situation around many of the MPI indicators remained stable in 2013 and 2014, but deprivation in school attendance and nutrition fell markedly. The latter could be attributed partly to the start of project interventions to improve nutrition standards in urban poor households in the end of 2013, as well as improved collection of nutrition data in 2014. Poor sources of cooking fuel and households sharing toilet facilities, however, remained key areas of deprivation. 


1) The MPI indicators: a) Years of schooling: deprived if no household member has completed five years of schooling; b) Child school attendance: deprived if any school-aged child is not attending school up to class 8; c) Child mortality: deprived if any child has died in the family; d) Nutrition: deprived if any adult or child is malnourished; e) Electricity: deprived if the household has no electricity; f) Sanitation: deprived if the sanitation facility is not improved or it is improved but shared with other households; g) Drinking water: deprived if the household does not have access to safe drinking water or this is more than a 30-minute walk from home roundtrip; h) Floor: deprived if the household has a dirt, sand or dung floor; i) Cooking fuel: deprived if the household cooks with dung, wood or charcoal; j) Assets ownership: deprived if the household does not own more than one radio, TV, telephone, bike, motorbike or refrigerator and does not own a car or truck.

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