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Measuring Poverty in Eastern India through Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI): Tool to Focus Where to Invest in Public Health

Author:Suman Kanungo, Debendra Nath, Guha Mazumder, Shyamashree Mukherjee, Kunal Kanti Majumdar, Pritam Roy, Sakhi Roy, Shanta Dutta, Debalina Roychowdhuri

Keywords:Poverty, Index, MPI, Consumption, Income

Type:Original Article

Abstract:"Background: The measurement of deprivations in the population provides valuable information for the analysis of inequality and poverty, based on which economic and public health policies and interventions are planned or implemented. This study intends to assess demographic, socioeconomic, water-sanitation & hygienic behavior of families in eastern India and measure poverty through Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with the relative contribution of the indicators. Methods: A population-based door to door health survey on a population residing in 3600 households was conducted in all villages in three gram panchayats in three blocks (1200 households in each GP). Results: Less than three –fourth of the households has been identified as MPI poor. Nearly one-fifth has been identified as vulnerable to poverty. The income poverty rate was 36%, and 76% are MPI poor The article also lens out deprivation within study areas. Interpretations: Consumption or income-based indicators alone cannot be a good proxy to capture the multidimensional aspect of poverty and deprivations. Demographic, socio-economic, health and dietary indicators play a significant role in determining the real standard of living. This study acts as evidence in defining Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index as a tool to focus where to invest in public health."