Designing a Multidimensional Poverty Index (2022)

In this course, you will learn to develop a holistic Multidimensional Poverty Index that integrates the income dimension with deprivations across health, education, housing, sanitation, employment and livelihoods, food security, environment, and other living standards to inform the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Due to high demand, the deadline for completing the course has been extended until 8 May 2022.

To download your certificate of course completion, please complete the course requirements and click the “Download your certificate” button above the Course Content section on this page before 8 May 2022. This course room will close on 9 May 2022.

Start date: 14 March 2022
End date: 8 May 2022
Duration: 7 weeks
Estimated effort: 2 – 3 hours per week
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic
 Course type: Massive Open Online Course

FAQs Meet the experts

UNDP and OPHI are pleased to offer a FREE Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Designing a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in English, French, Spanish, and Russian. This course draws on the handbook, "How to Build a National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI): Using the MPI to inform the SDGs," launched by UNDP and OPHI in July 2019.

The MPI complements traditional monetary poverty measures by capturing severe deprivations in education, health, living standards, employment, safety, and many other dimensions of poverty. Using country and sub-national examples, this course offers detailed practical guidance for policymakers, technical experts, and other stakeholders on how to design an MPI at the national and local levels.

This is the third iteration of the MOOC. The course was previously offered in 2020 and 2021. This 2022 edition provides an expanded library of case studies outlining the uses of the Multidimensional Poverty Index for policy interventions in the context of COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Course highlights and outcomes

  • Gain hands-on tools to develop a comprehensive MPI capturing multiple simultaneous deprivations faced by the poor
  • Take a deep dive into rich learning materials
  • Receive a certificate of completion from premier international development institutions

Course topics

  • Week 1: Introduction to the Multidimensional Poverty Index – Part 1
  • Week 2: Introduction to the Multidimensional Poverty Index – Part 2 (optional)
  • Week 3: Generating support for the national MPI
  • Week 4: The technical process of creating a national MPI – Part 1
  • Week 5: The technical process of creating a national MPI – Part 2
  • Week 6: Using national MPIs as policy tools
  • Week 7: Applying the MPI towards a COVID-19 recovery

Learning objectives

By the time the course is completed, you will be able to:

  • Understand the steps involved in developing a robust MPI
  • Examine the normative choices and technical requirements of multidimensional poverty measurement
  • Understand the key aspects of stakeholder engagement in designing and using an MPI
  • Monitor, analyze and report progress in reducing multidimensional poverty at national and local levels, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Course completion requirements

To receive the certificate of course completion, participants must:

  • Complete five online lessons
  • Pass five weekly quizzes
  • Watch all course lectures
  • Pass the final test
  • Complete the course survey

Click “Enroll” to register today. When you register, you will receive a confirmation email from the course team.

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Course Includes

  • 10 Modules
  • 31 Activities
  • 6 quizzes
  • Course Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions


Shakeel Ahmad is a Development Economist by training and currently serves as Country Programme Specialist at the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. Before assuming his current post, he was the Assistant Resident Representative and Chief of Development Policy Unit in UNDP Pakistan. Mr. Ahmad advised the Government of Pakistan on the national Multidimensional Poverty Index and its use for poverty targeting. He remained a member of the high-level committee of the Planning Commission of Pakistan on SDGs and Poverty Alleviation. Mr. Ahmad has 19 year of experience in the development sector. He has a post-graduate degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Sabina Alkire is the Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a research centre within the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford. Her research interests and publications include multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis, welfare economics, Amartya Sen’s capability approach, Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness index, and human development. She holds a DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford.

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye is the Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel. Mr. Dieye is a macroeconomist and development expert with strong leadership experience in managing complex development portfolios over the last 35 years. Mr. Dieye was previously Special Adviser to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He has held several positions in UNDP, including as Assistant Administrator and Director for the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (2018-2019), Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa (2013-2018), Chief of Staff of the Administrator, and Director of the Executive Office (2009-2013), and as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States (2006-2009). Prior to that, he served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Abidjan. Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Dieye held several senior positions within the Government of Senegal.

James Foster is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. Professor Foster received his Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University where he received the Selma Fine Goldsmith Award for his dissertation. He held positions at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and Department of Economics at Vanderbilt before joining the Elliott School. He has been a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, Cornell, Essex, Oxford, Harvard, and the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He received the Unilever Fellowship (UK) and the Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy, and holds a Doctorate Honoris Causa, from Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hidalgo (Mexico).

Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva is the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. He leads the organization´s work and teams in 40 countries and territories in the region helping bring governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector together to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ricardo Nogales is a Research Officer at OPHI. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics and a PhD in Econometrics, all from the University of Geneva. Before joining OPHI, he was an Associate Lecturer in Economics at the School of Economics and Finance of the Universidad Privada Boliviana and a Research Assistant at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in Switzerland. He has carried out research activities in development economics, poverty reduction and human development with the IDB, UNDP, ILO, World Bank, Oxfam and IDRC. Ricardo has been an external consultant for several public organizations in Bolivia, including the Program for Strategic Research, the Central Bank, the Institute for Agricultural Insurance and the Ministry of Economics and Public Finance.

Christian Oldiges is a trained Development Economist, currently serving as Policy Specialist at the Inclusive Growth team of UNDP/BPPS, New York. He brings more than 10 years of experience in the fields of development economics, policy advocacy, and social protection. Previously, as Director of Policy Research at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, he was directly involved in developing national MPIs with governments in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In his postdoctoral at Oxford, he wrote on multidimensional poverty and its interlinkages with COVID-19, migration, and conflict, as well as on workfare programmes and food security. Christian holds a PhD in Economics from Heidelberg University, Germany.

Davina Osei is a Researcher within the outreach team of OPHI. She supports national governments in the development, analysis and use of national multidimensional poverty indices (MPIs). She holds a PhD in Economics from the UNU-MERIT/Maastricht University and a Master’s in Applied Economics from the University of Strathclyde. Prior to joining OPHI, Davina worked as a tutor and researcher at UNU-MERIT. She has also consulted for UN FAO and the African Development Bank. Davina has worked with the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) on environmental and sustainable livelihoods projects, as well as the GIZ African Cashew Initiative (ACi) on agricultural and human development projects. Davina`s expertise lies in development economics with a focus on institutions, environment, poverty and well-being.

Monica Pinilla-Roncancio is the Co-Director of Metrics and Policy at OPHI, co-leading the outreach team. She coordinates outreach work in Latin America, East Asia and some countries in Africa and Middle East. Monica is a trained Physiotherapist with a Master’s degree in Economics from Universidad del Rosario. She also has a Master’s degree in Health Economics, Policy and Law from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Monica received her PhD in Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. From 2016 to 2018, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Universidad de los Andes, where she remains an Assistant Professor. Her main research interests include disability, multidimensional poverty, inequality and health economics.

Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017 and will serve for a term of four years. Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system that work to support sustainable development. Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective.

Akmal Abdurazakov has devoted more than 10 years of his career to promoting inclusive and sustainable development internationally, which he has gained at the United Nations and beyond.
At the Organization, he most recently held the position of Economic Advisor at the UNDP Regional Hub/Centre. Prior to that, he held several technical and managerial positions at UNESCO and UNICEF, where he was the coordinator for theпon SDG 6. He worked as a statistician in the Office of Statistics at UN Headquarters in New York. He also worked on the 2013 and 2014 Human Development Reports.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Akmal Abdurazakov began his career in academia and worked as a lecturer and researcher at leading universities and centers in Uzbekistan and abroad. He is the author of more than 20 published research papers on economics and social statistics.
Akmal holds a PhD in Economics; an MA in Economics from University of Strathclyde, Great Britain; and a degree in Economics from the Polytechnic University in Uzbekistan.

Francis Andrianarison is a senior economist with the United Nations Development Program in Cameroon and the Congo. He has more than twenty years of experience in strategic advisory to African governments, the private sector and other international organizations such as the World Bank, the EU, the FAO, the WWF. His area of expertise covers strategic planning, development finance, structural transformation, inequality, poverty and growth. He holds a degree in mathematics from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Madagascar, an Economic Statistician engineering degree from CESD-ENSAE Paris, a degree in international economics and finance from Paris-IX Dauphine and a PhD in economics from the University of Laval-Canada.

Katie P. Bernhard, MSc, is a geographic data scientist and statistician with seven years of experience in East Africa and Middle East/North Africa. In providing analytics for strategic policy and program advisory at UNDP in Rwanda, Uganda, and Yemen, and supporting the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, Katie has computed Multidimensional Poverty, Multidimensional Vulnerability, Human Development, and Human Security Indices for eleven countries and the Horn of Africa and Sahel subregions. Katie led computation of the first Multidimensional Poverty Index for Refugees in Uganda and the first Sub-national Human Development Index in both Uganda and Rwanda. Katie holds a BA (Dartmouth College), MSc (London School of Economics), and is a dual-title PhD student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and RPTM (Pennsylvania State University). Her doctoral research applies the Multidimensional Poverty Index to understand socioeconomic conditions around protected areas in Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC.

Agustín Casarini is an Argentinian economist. He has contributed to the computation of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) since 2017 and has collaborated with other OPHI projects such as Changes over Time. Previously, he has worked in different government agencies at national and local levels in Argentina, and as a university professor of statistics and economics. Now he is also working as a Research Assistant in the field of health economics, investigating tobacco control policies in Latin America, as well as inequalities and social determinants of health.

Elena Danilova-Cross is a Programme Specialist on Poverty and Inequality at UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub. She has over 10 years of professional experience in integrating human and sustainable development into policy practice as well as statistical, mainstreaming, acceleration and policy support for Agenda 2030 and SDGs. Elena initiates and manages studies, research and publications on social inclusion, human development, multidimensional poverty and inequality, including coordination and quality assurance and evaluation of human development reporting, policy papers and other cross-thematic reports.

Daniela de los Santos is a Sociologist from the Catholic University of Uruguay, with experience in social research, public policy evaluation, data processing and visualization, team management, dissemination and training activities. She is a part of the Gender Team of the Regional Center of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Latin America and the Caribbean, where she works on issues related to data, social protection, care and gender. At UNDP she has collaborated in the development of a Multidimensional Poverty Index with a focus on women and gender perspective.
She has worked as a researcher in civil society at the Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies – Uruguay (CIEDUR), as a lecturer and researcher at the Catholic University of Uruguay and the University of Buenos Aires, as well as a consultant at the International Labor Organization.

Carlos De Los Rios is a Peruvian economist with an MSc in Applied Economics at the University of California, Davis (California, USA) and an MSc in Development Economics and Policy Analysis at the University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England). He is senior economic advisor at the United Nations Development Programme in Peru and a senior researcher and member of the board at Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP). His research mainly focuses on development economics, the multiple dimensions of poverty and inequality, and social protection. He is also a professor in economic development at the Master in Development Economics in a joint program between the Université Gustave Eiffel and the Université Paris-est Créteil.

Idrissa Diagne is a macroeconomist with basic training in mathematics, statistics and development economics. He is the Economic Advisor of UNDP in Gabon, a position also held in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Togo, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. He also served as Inter-Regional Advisor at UN/DESA in New York and as Senior Technical Advisor in Niger on behalf of UN/DTCD. He is an Economic Statistician Engineer (CESD) of the National School of Statistics and Economic Administration (ENSAE).

Bécaye Diarra is an Economic Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Côte d’Ivoire. He served in this same role in the Central African Republic (CAR) from 2009 to 2012 and in Mali from 2013 to 2019. Becaye holds a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Jean Moulin University of Lyon III (France) and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). He began his career as a Researcher at the Department of the University of Brussels in Applied Economics (DULBEA) from 1998 to 1999, then as Marketing Manager at the Senegalese National Company Lottery from 2000 to 2002. From 2003 to 2008, he was the Director of Business Development at the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, thus dealing with the financing and upgrading of businesses.

Jakob Dirksen is Research and Policy Officer at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative within the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. He does both academic research on multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis and associated areas – and he works with international partners in United Nations agencies and governments around the world towards the development of multidimensional poverty indices as permanent official statistics and all-of-government policy-tools. Jakob is also Lecturer at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany and Seminar Leader at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford.
He previously held research positions at the Blavatnik School of Government and Mansfield College (both University of Oxford), and has worked in diplomacy for the German Federal Foreign Office.

Almudena Fernández is SDG Technical Advisor to the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In her current position, Almudena specializes in issues related to inequality, poverty, innovation, and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her previous positions within UNDP include being a specialist on social protection issues in the context of sustainable development, and she is the lead author of the report “Leave No One Behind: A Primer on Social Protection”. As part of the Poverty Group, she co-authored “Humanity Divided: Inequality in Developing Countries”, and with the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, she participated in initiatives to mitigate the impacts of the financial crisis on vulnerable populations. Before joining the UNDP team, Almudena worked at the Instituto Libertad y Democracia, in Lima, Peru, where she participated in the diagnosis of the informal economy in countries such as Guatemala and Tanzania. Almudena holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Iván González de Alba is a Regional Policy Advisor in Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development at UNDP’s Regional Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from ITAM, as well as a Master’s in Economics and a DPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, England. Iván is a former OPHI collaborator. He worked for the Mexican government holding different positions at the ministries of tourism, social development and urban development. Social protection in Africa and the regional study on environmental variables into MPIs are among his most recent publications.

Ricardo Isea is a development economist with over ten years of professional work experience in international organizations and research centers. Over the last few years, he has worked at UNDP’s Development Policy Bureau, providing technical advice on sustainable development issues and facilitating the Community of Practice (CoP) on Poverty and Inequality. Ricardo is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the New School for Social Research (NY), where he has also worked as a lecturer in Critical Thinking.

Putu Geniki Lavinia Natih supports the outreach team at OPHI and is also currently helping with harmonising data for the global MPI. Putu is also a Statistics/Quantitative Methods tutor at Keble College and a remote lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia where she teaches Microeconomics and Econometrics. Before OPHI, Putu worked as a Research Assistant at the Blavatnik School of Government, helping with constructing Stata do-files and analysing how technology can further good governance.

Nathalie Milbach-Bouché is the UNDP Senior Strategic Advisor of Arab States at the Regional Hub in Amman. She is a development economist with over 20 years of professional experience in academia, the private sector, the UN and other development partners in more than 40 countries. Before her current role, she served successively as UNDP Inclusive Growth Team Leader for Arab States, UNDP Poverty Practice leader in Arab States and West and Central Africa. She has also served as a UNDP macroeconomic policy specialist for transition economies in Asia-Pacific and has worked as a senior economist for the FAO in Bangladesh, where she supported the National Food Policy Plan of Action and supervised research on food security. Before this, she led an EU-TACIS capacity development project in economic analysis, following five years of service as a teacher/researcher at the University of Auvergne, where she holds a PhD in Development Economics and a Master in project analysis.

Juliana Yael Milovich is a researcher in the outreach team of OPHI, supporting governments in their development of national multidimensional poverty indices. She is also part of the Global MPI team, co-leading the work on non-DHS and non-MICS datasets in the Global MPI 2018, 2020 and 2021. She is also a lecturer at the Institute of High Studies of Latin America (IHEAL), a multidisciplinary research centre located at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle (France). She holds a PhD in Economics from the University Paris Nanterre. Her current research focuses on the determinants of poverty and well-being and, more precisely, on the (overlapping) deprivations experienced by children in Guatemala.

Mansour Ndiaye is the head of the Inclusive Growth Team and has over 24 years of experience in economic and social policy making in Africa and beyond as a development economist. Mansour joined UNDP in 2010 as Economic Advisor in Niger. Prior to joining UNDP, Mansour served as an economist at the IMF and has held several management positions with BCEAO. He holds an MSc in Macroeconometric Modeling from the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE, ParisTech) and an MSc in Development Economics from the Université d’Auvergne.

Derek A. Ocheng supports the outreach team and contributes to ongoing research at OPHI. Before OPHI, Derek worked as an Economist with the International Growth Centre, helping to bring to bear research evidence for economic policymaking.

Christian Oldiges is a trained Development Economist, currently serving as Policy Specialist at the Inclusive Growth team of UNDP/BPPS, New York. He brings more than 10 years of experience in the fields of development economics, policy advocacy, and social protection. Previously, as Director of Policy Research at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford, he was directly involved in developing national MPIs with governments in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In his postdoctoral at Oxford, he wrote on multidimensional poverty and its interlinkages with COVID-19, migration, and conflict, as well as on workfare programmes and food security. Christian holds a PhD in Economics from Heidelberg University, Germany.

Renata Pardo is an economist from Universidad de Los Andes with a master’s degree in Economics from Catholic University of Louvain. Currently working as Inclusive Growth Specialist for the Inclusive Growth and SDG Integrator Cluster of UNDP Panama Regional Hub. She has worked as consultant for different government agencies in Colombia, directly participated in the design of Colombia’s MPI, and was director of the Colombian Longitudinal Survey of Universidad de los Andes – ELCA. More recently, she developed a methodology for micro-simulating the effect of Covid-19 on multidimensional poverty in El Salvador and Ecuador.

Mihail Peleah has been working as a Green Economy and Employment Specialist at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Center since 2014. He provides support and advice on green economy and employment policies in the countries of Europe and Central Asia region. Since 2015, Michael has been working on the Sustainable Development Goals, supporting and advising on the implementation of integrated SDGs in national and local policy documents, as well as monitoring systems, goal prioritization and analysis of SDG accelerators. He has participated and supported UN MAPS (Integration, Acceleration, Program Support) missions in Europe and Central Asia and beyond.

Isiyaka Sabo is a Regional Team Leader Inclusive Growth in the Regional Service Center for Africa, Addis-Ababa. Before this position, he served as UNDP’s Senior Economist in Madagascar, Comoros, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Senegal. Before joining UNDP, he was an Economist with the IMF, Macroeconomist at West African Development Bank and Director of Economic Reforms at Niger’s Ministry of Economy and Finance. He is a Statistical Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Economic Policy Management from the University of Auvergne, France. He is certified in Economic Development Policies from the Institute of Economic Research and the Economic Planning Agency of Japan. 

Fekadu Terefe has more than 25 years of experience in the field of development. He is currently working as Programme Specialist (Inclusive Growth) with UNDP Regional Hub in Amman. He previously served as policy specialist (inclusive growth and human development), and as an advisor on MDGs, gender and CSO. Before joining UNDP, Fekadu worked as food security programme/policy officer with ActionAid and as Project Officer on demobilization and reintegration programme with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). He also worked with the public sector on development planning and budgeting. Fekadu holds Master’s degrees in International Economic Policy and Analysis and in Development Planning and Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics.

Bishwa Nath Tiwari leads the work on human development reports, SDGs, multidimensional poverty and social protection in UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, writes UNDP’s flagship reports, and offers technical and advisory services to UNDP Country Offices in Asia and the Pacific region. Prior to joining the Bangkok Regional Hub, he worked at UNDP Nepal and Bangladesh. He started his career as a teacher in Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Bishwa holds a PhD in Economics from University of Rajasthan, India, a Master in Environmental and Resource Economics from University of London, and a Master in Economics from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Rizwan ul Haq is a Research Officer at OPHI working in the outreach team to support different stakeholders in the design and computation of multidimensional poverty indices.
Before joining OPHI, he was an Assistant Professor of Development Studies at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. He has more than 20 years of experience in population and development sector focusing primarily on poverty, ageing and health. He has also worked in the United Nations Development Programme in the preparation of National Human Development Report for Pakistan on Youth.

Francis Wasswa is the National Economist/Advisor on the SDGs at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Uganda. He is a development economist by training and holds a PhD in Quantitative Models for Policy Analysis from Catholic University, Milan, Italy and PhD in Economics from University of Canberra. He has vast experience in development planning, evidence-based research and policy analysis of Uganda’s development challenges and opportunities, drawn from his work with academia (Makerere University); Government Institutions such as the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, and National Planning Authority as well as the United Nations. He has vast experience in computing multidimensional poverty index using the Alkire and Foster Approach to multidimensional poverty measurement. Recently, he provided technical support to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics to construct the first National Multidimensional Poverty Index (NMPI) for Uganda; and contributed to the construction of the MPI for refugees in Uganda, which is comparable to the National MPI.