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UN, Oxford launch new index to measure poverty levels

07-15-2010 13:47 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, July 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Oxford University on Wednesday launched a new poverty measure to gauge poverty levels and help target development resources more effectively.

The new measure, the Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI, was developed and applied by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) with UNDP support.

It will be featured in the forthcoming 20th anniversary edition of the UNDP Human Development Report. The MPI supplants the Human Poverty Index, which had been included in the annual Human Development Reports since 1997.

The 2010 UNDP Human Development Report will be published in late October.

The MPI assesses a range of critical factors or "deprivations" at the household level: from education to health outcomes to assets and services. Taken together, these factors provide a fuller portrait of acute poverty than simple income measures, according to OPHI and UNDP.

The measure reveals the nature and extent of poverty at different levels: from household up to regional, national and international level. This new multidimensional approach to assessing poverty has been adapted for national use in Mexico, and is now being considered by Chile and Colombia.

The UNDP Human Development Report Office is joining forces with OPHI to promote international discussions on the practical applicability of this multidimensional approach to measuring poverty.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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