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Measuring multidimensional poverty according to national definitions - operationalising target 1.2 of the sustainable development goals

Pomati, Marco ORCID: and Nandy, Shailen ORCID: 2020. Measuring multidimensional poverty according to national definitions - operationalising target 1.2 of the sustainable development goals. Social Indicators Research 148 , pp. 105-126. 10.1007/s11205-019-02198-6

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The first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) tasks countries with eradicating poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions. This presents considerable challenges for poverty researchers and national statistical offices charged with collecting data to monitor progress on meeting of this ambitious target. Our paper focuses on how the different dimensions of poverty might be mapped out, and compared, within and across heterogeneous countries and societies, using a method called the Consensual Approach to poverty measurement. It explains how the approach can inform different poverty measurement frameworks (e.g. rights based, capabilities or deprivation of basic needs approaches), how it has already been used successfully across low, middle- and high-income countries and sets out some key lessons and future challenges. The paper uses data from the demographic and health surveys (DHS) and World Bank’s Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire surveys to demonstrate cross- and intra-national consensus about what constitutes minimally acceptable living standards across several countries in West Africa; we suggest that existing survey platforms, like national household income and expenditure surveys, DHS or even UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys could (with minor additions) be used to apply the Consensual Approach to measure multidimensional poverty in children and adults across countries, and thus aid reporting for the SDGs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0303-8300
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 October 2019
Date of Acceptance: 30 September 2019
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 19:56

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