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Published Date: Sep 24, 2012

Clustered Deprivation-district profile of poverty in pakistan

For a copy of this book (english publication) please contact:

Mr. Ali Aamer Javed

Library Associate

Sustainable Development Policy Institute



There has been a recent increase in the methodological and empirical literature on measurement of multidimensional poverty. The philosophical work by Amartya Sen has long established that poverty is a state of deprivation of several capabilities that the poor face simultaneously. Taking multiple deprivations into account through appropriate methodology nonetheless remains a serious challenge. The seminal work by Sabina Alkire and James Foster at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) succeeded in extending the traditional measures of uni-dimensional poverty to take into account the multiple deprivations faced by the poor. The Alkire and Foster measure (2007) was largely adopted by researchers across the world because of its technical robustness and usefulness for policy. Mexico adopted this approach for official estimation of poverty in 2009.The Human Development Report (HDR) 2010 adopted a version of Alkire and Foster measure in the form of Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) developed by Alkire and Santos. The MPI provided estimates of multidimensional poverty for 104 countries including Pakistan over indicators pertaining to three dimensions, i.e., education, health and living conditions. The subsequent HDR 2011 also provided the ranking of countries on MPI over the same dimensions. In the MPI for HDR, the decisions on the selection of dimensions, indicators, selection of weights, cut-off points and poverty line were made from the perspective of global comparison and availability of comparable data for all the countries. Adopting this methodology at the national level requires revision of these decisions keeping in view the local context and the availability of the updated data. The current study adopts the Multidimensional Poverty Index approach and provides estimates of poverty in Pakistan using PSLM 2008-09 data over four key dimensions, i.e. education, health, living conditions and asset ownership. This report makes five important contributions to the literature.

1. It provides a methodological framework for estimating multidimensional poverty in Pakistan as an alternative to the traditional income/consumption based poverty measures to take into account the multifaceted deprivations faced by the poor.

2. It extends the analysis of poverty from national and provincial levels to the district level, hence broadens the information base for designing poverty reduction strategies in the context of post 18th Amendment scenario.

3. It adds to the empirical literature on multidimensional poverty by employing MPI at the disaggregated district level data. So far, MPI approach has been employed for cross-country analysis.

4. It identifies the poorest and the least poor districts within each province of Pakistan. All districts are ranked on the key measures of multidimensional poverty.

5. Lastly, the report identifies the geographic clustering of poverty in Pakistan. Within each province, districts with extreme poverty are concentrated in certain geographic regions and those with very low poverty in the others.

This book is structured into eight sections. The first section elaborates the methodology and discusses data used. The subsequent sections present results.

The second section provides the distribution of headcount ratio or the incidence of poverty. The third section presents the results on the extent of deprivations or intensity of poverty faced by the poor. The fourth section provides the cumulative measure of the incidence and intensity of poverty in the form of Multidimensional Poverty Index. The fourth section presents the estimates of severe poverty. The fifth section presents the estimates of vulnerability. The sixth section briefly explains the geography of poverty. The seventh section provides the decomposition of MPI by indicators to identify the major drivers of poverty. The eighth section summarizes the key findings and presents the policy recommendations.