Skip to main content

Experts to Discuss Multidimensional Poverty Measurement

Available in EnglishEspañol
1 March 2010|Press Release

The meeting will focus on proposals to measure poverty incorporating non-material aspects, such as the deprivation of capabilities and lack of access to basic rights.

Due to the earthquake in Chile, this seminar and all the events scheduled to take place in ECLAC headquarters in Santiago during the week of 1-5 March 2010 have been POSTPONED until further notice.  

(26 February, 2010) International and national experts will examine proposals for measuring poverty in the region from a multidimensional perspective during a seminar at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago to be held March 4-5.

The International Seminar "Multidimensional poverty measurement in Latin America" will analyze approaches and methodologies for measuring poverty that go beyond considering merely income levels and study their empirical application in several countries.

The seminar is organized by ECLAC, the Ministry of Planning and Cooperation of Chile (Mideplan), the Foundation for Overcoming Poverty (FSP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

Measuring and characterizing poverty appropriately is crucial to designing effective public policies to address it. In Latin America, the "poor" have been traditionally defined as those lacking sufficient income to satisfy their basic needs. In Europe, however, poverty is measured in terms of the resources people need to participate adequately in society.

The latter focus has become increasingly accepted in the region over recent years. There is greater interest in conceptualizing and measuring poverty from a multidimensional perspective that takes into account not just the lack of resources, but also deprivations in other areas of human life, including non-material ones, like the deprivation of capabilities, loss of freedom and lack of access to fundamental rights.

This approach requires identifying the different dimensions that determine poverty and its reproduction and developing methods and parameters to measure them.

The seminar will be inaugurated on Thursday, March 4 at 9 a.m. by ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena, OPHI Director Sabina Alkire, FSP President Rodrigo Jordán and Mideplan Minister Paula Quintana.

Distinguished international experts in the field of poverty will participate, including James Foster, from The George Washington University, and ECLAC statistic and social development specialists.

The media is invited to participate in the seminar, which will be held in the Raúl Prebisch Conference Room at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago (Av. Dag Hammarskjöld 3477, Vitacura)

For more information, contact ECLAC's Information Services. Email:; telephone: (56-2) 210-2040/2149.