By Patricia Kapulula:
The Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index (M-MPI) has been described as key in identifying and tailoring effective interventions for measuring progress in development efforts as enshrined in the Malawi 2063.
The M-MPI, which is being introduced as a national indicator to complement the monetary poverty measure, provides in-depth insights into various dimensions of poverty, not only from a monetary perspective, but other aspects as well.
Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms Principal Secretary, Winford Masanjala, made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday during the launch of the first M-MPI Report.
He said the M-MPI has provided disaggregated data that sheds light on the realities of the most vulnerable across the country for national and global commitments of eradicating poverty and inequality in all its forms and dimensions as addressed by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goal number one and 10.
“This is critical as it provides an opportunity to showcase another milestone in efforts to understand more about the dimensions of poverty in our country in order to come up with meaningful and relevant interventions that will combat poverty in all its ramifications,” he said.
He said poverty should no longer be looked at in terms of money but from different facets of human development hence it is important for Malawi to start tracking the way the country is doing and let the index be part of monitoring and evaluation system on how Malawians are doing towards the Malawi 2063 goals.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative for Malawi, Shigeki Komatsubara, hailed the launch saying it is important for Malawi to adopt the iniative as a strategic policy to effectively address poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
In the past, Malawi Government used monetary measure to monitor and track poverty through the Integrated Household Survey (IHS).
He said the M-MPI is not just focused on multidimensional poverty but aligns to the actual development context of the country hence crucial for supporting decentralisation poverty alleviation measures.
“In my view, I cannot find a better and more strategic tool and instrument than the national MPI to identify the most vulnerable district and its people hence guiding policy and program interventions to address human development challenges at national and local levels,” he said.
National Planning Commission Director General Dr Thomas Chataghalala Munthali described the MPI as important in identifying poverty levels multidimensional index by, at times, targeting certain segments of society based on what they are lagging in.
He said this will ensure that SDGs are met as multidimensional poverty index is covering almost all the SDGs.
The M-MPI, as a measure, is being introduced to complement the traditional monetary poverty measure by capturing the deprivations in health, education, environment and work that the multi dimensionally poor face simultaneously.
Work to develop M-MPI was undertaken by a technical team comprising of different stakeholders led by the National Statistical Office (NSO) with technical support from Oxford Poverty and Human Development initiative (OPHI) and financial support from UNDP using data set from the 4th Integrated Household Survey (IHS4).