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The World Bank has announced it will broaden the way in which it measures poverty by introducing a new ‘multidimensional’ measure that captures non-monetary aspects of poverty, using a methodology developed by Sabina Alkire and James Foster of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at Oxford Department of International Development.

World bank and ophi James Jewell/OPHI

Image: James Jewell/OPHI

The introduction of the new metric, to be used in conjunction with the Bank’s $1.90 measure of extreme poverty, was one of the recommendations made by a commission led by Oxford economist Sir Tony Atkinson and contained in the Monitoring Global Poverty report, released by the World Bank on 18 October.

OPHI has pioneered an approach to poverty measurement that goes beyond income by incorporating non-monetary deprivations, for example poor sanitation, malnutrition or lack of education. Individuals are defined as ‘multidimensionally’ poor if they experience a given number of such deprivations at the same time.

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