Data to Policy Network for Policymakers Hosts Second Session of the Workshop on Multidimensional Poverty

June 25, 2024

New York, 20 June 2024: The Data to Policy Network for policymakers delivered the second session of the workshop series on Multidimensional Poverty. The workshop aims to equip policymakers with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively address multidimensional poverty in their respective countries and regions, and support South-South and triangular exchanges of experiences and good practices in utilizing the measurement of multidimensional poverty as a means to tackle it.

This second session offered key benefits for policymakers:

  • Exploration of India’s and Mexico’s national multidimensional poverty indices (MPIs);
  • How India’s and Mexico’s experience was shared with other countries;
  • Other uses of national MPIs;
  • A well-established intra-network connections with policymakers; and
  • Potential use cases in line with the needs and aspirations of the policymakers in the network.

The session began with opening remarks by Zanofer Ismalebbe, Chief, Knowledge Management at the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). Zanofer welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of the workshop series in enhancing policymakers’ understanding and application of the measurement of multidimensional poverty. He also introduced the two distinguished speakers from India and Mexico, countries with solid expertise in the measurement of multidimensional poverty that have shared their knowledge and experiences globally through South-South cooperation.

Prof. Ramesh Chand, member of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), presented India’s experience in building and using the country’s national MPI. He discussed the challenges and successes in implementing the national measure which builds on the Global MPI and adds 2 additional indicators (maternal health and bank account), and the specific data requirements that must be satisfied. He also shared how multidimensional poverty has reduced significantly at both state and district levels between 2015-16 and 2019-21. Furthermore, he highlighted that states with higher poverty rates experienced a faster decline. He explained that this reduction was closely linked to political economy and governance reforms that have improved resource allocation. Finally, Prof. Chand emphasized the role of the national MPI in informing policy decisions and the benefits of sharing knowledge and strategies with other countries through South-South Cooperation during international meetings and conferences.

Dr. José Nabor Cruz Marcelo, Executive Secretary of Mexico’s National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), shared the country’s extensive experience as pioneer in constructing and utilizing a multidimensional poverty measure at the national level. His presentation covered four main areas: i) the evolution of the national measure of multidimensional poverty, which is based on a social rights approach; ii) the estimates at the national level and the disaggregation by indicator and demographic groups; iii) the uses of the national measure of multidimensional poverty and the execution of social development programmes; and iv) the South-South technical cooperation initiatives Mexico engages in, aiming to share its experience with multidimensional poverty with other countries. To date, CONEVAL’s South-South cooperation in the area of poverty measurement has benefited 27 countries in the region and beyond.

The Q&A segment facilitated a dynamic discussion on shared challenges and solutions in using national MPIs. Participants sought advice on specific issues related to the measurement and application of MPI in their countries. Key topics included data collection, integration of MPI into national policy frameworks, and the benefits of international cooperation.

Finally, Dumitru Vasilescu, Research Specialist at UNOSSC, concluded the session by summarizing the key points discussed, thanking the speakers and participants for their valuable contributions, and highlighting the importance of strengthening collaboration and knowledge exchange in addressing multidimensional poverty.

By highlighting the experiences of Mexico and India, the session provided valuable insights into the practical applications of the national MPI in different contexts, emphasizing the significance of South-South cooperation and the sharing of good practices to tackle multidimensional poverty effectively. The discussions and interactions underscored the collective effort needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 1 (No Poverty) and improve the lives of all people.