Interpretation for poverty is diverse. You can’t measure poverty from just one angle. Adequate food alone will not solve the problem of poverty. • According to Amartya Sen, even social exclusion and shame constitute to poverty. Here comes the concept of multidimensional poverty. According to this approach, poverty can’t be defined by one-dimensional measures, such as income.
Multidimensional poverty approach to the measurement of poverty identifies several factors that causes deprivation – like lack of education facilities, poor health, poor living standard, lack of income etc.
The logic of the approach is that if an individual is suffering on more than one aspects, he is multidimensionally poor.
The proponents of multidimensional poverty thus argue that different indicators can be chosen to assess the poverty conditions.
Following the approach, a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was launched by the UNDP that measures overlapping deprivations at the household level across three dimensions- health, education and living standards.
The index shows the proportion of poor people and the average number of deprivations each poor person experiences at the same time.
For the estimation of deprivation or poverty from different dimensions, the MPI uses three dimensions and ten indicators.
The three dimensions are health, education and standard of living. Deprivations are measured for the household and individual levels.
Deprivation of one dimension (like education) alone may not represent poverty. Here, the MPI requires a household to be deprived in multiple indicators at the same time.
A person is multidimensionally poor if she/he is deprived in one third or more (means 33% or more) of the weighted indicators (out of the ten indicators).
Those who are deprived in one half or more of the weighted indicators are considered living in extreme multidimensional poverty.