An individual-based index of multidimensional poverty for low- and middle-income countries

Burchi, Francesco / José Espinoza-Delgado / Claudio E. Montenegro / Nicole Rippin
External Publications (2021)

in: Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 22 (4), 682-705

Open access

This paper proposes a new index of multidimensional poverty, called the Global Correlation Sensitive Poverty Index (G-CSPI), which has three interesting features. First, it encompasses three dimensions: decent work, education and access to drinking water and sanitation, which largely overlap with the list of ideal dimensions obtained by expanding the Constitutional Approach, although it does not include direct health measures. Second, it uses a distribution-sensitive measure that can also be decomposed into the three poverty components: incidence, intensity and inequality. Finally, the G-CSPI is an individual-based, rather than household-based index, although restricted to individuals 15–65 years of age. It is thus able to detect intra-household differences in poverty among members within that age-range. To have a full picture of multidimensional poverty at the country level, it should then be complemented by specific poverty measures for children and the elderly. Being centred on individuals and sensitive to inequality, the G-CSPI is coherent with the overarching principle of the 2030 Agenda “leaving no one behind”. Using recent estimates of the G-CSPI for 104 countries, the empirical analysis reveals that the index is highly robust to different specifications, and that, as expected, fragile countries experience the largest levels of poverty.

About the authors

Burchi, Francesco

Development Economy


Further experts

Balasubramanian, Pooja

Social Economics 

Brüntrup, Michael

Agricultural Economy 

Christ, Simone

Social Anthropology 

Dick, Eva

Sociologist and Spatial Planner 

Dippel, Beatrice


Faus Onbargi, Alexia

Energy and climate policy 

Friesen, Ina

Political Science 

Jaji, Rose


Mchowa, Chifundo

Development Economics 

Mudimu, George Tonderai

Agricultural policy economics 

Roll, Michael


Sowa, Alina


Zintl, Tina

Political Scientist