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February 6, 2013

Announcement: OPHI MD Poverty Summer School, July 2013 Washington DC

The purpose of this intensive summer school is to provide a thorough conceptual and technical introduction to some techniques of measuring multidimensional poverty with a strong emphasis on the Alkire Foster method. Participants will revise axiomatic poverty measures, and will learn about different techniques of multidimensional poverty measurement and which problems they are best suited to solve. The empirical motivation for measuring multidimensional poverty will be presented as well as the conceptual motivation, drawing on Sen's Capability approach.

The following topics will be covered

  • Axiomatic approaches to unidimensional and multidimensional poverty;
  • Methodologies to analyse multidimensional poverty: dashboard, stochastic dominance, information theory, fuzzy set, multiple correspondence analysis, unmet basic needs and counting approaches - and the problems each methodology best solves;
  • The Alkire Foster methodology of multidimensional poverty measurement;
  • Selection of parameters: purpose, unit of measure, dimensions, indicators, cut-offs and weights;
  • Data reduction techniques for measure design and analysis;
  • Subgroup decomposition and mapping;
  • Multidimensional poverty dynamics;
  • Disparity among the poor and across groups;
  • Econometric analysis of multidimensional poverty; and
  • Institutions, policies, and communication.

Course Format

The summer school will consist of ten and a half days of instruction and working group sessions, taught in English. Each participant needs to bring a laptop with STATA with them to do the problem sets. Throughout the summer school, participants will be actively involved in discussions and working through problem sets, and will be invited to present their research work as well as to share their experiences.

Dates and Location

The course is Monday 8th to Friday 19th July 2013, with a final exam on the 20th of July (non compulsory). Classes will be at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.


To apply, please complete the online application form at http://www.ophi.org.uk/ss2013-application and submit a most recent curriculum vitae and sample STATA .do file. The application process is competitive; applicants will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided in their application.

Course fee

  • $750 USD for all students, and for academic researchers based in developing countries;
  • $1500 USD for professionals based in developing countries; and
  • $2500 USD for professionals based in developed countries

In addition, participants will need to pay for accommodation ($37/night for shared to $63 USD/night for a single room), meals ($25/per day for modest fare), and travel fares (and cost of STATA software program). Additionally, kindly note, the American visa application fee is $160 USD. For information on scholarships, please see below.

Important Dates

  • 17 March 2013: For Applicants Requesting Financial Support
  • 24 March 2013: Final Deadline


  • The summer school will be led by the Researchers and Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI - www.ophi.org.uk) of the University of Oxford, and will include sessions by OPHI Research Associate and Director of the International Institute for Economic Policy (IIEP) Professor James Foster. OPHI instructors include Sabina Alkire, Paola Ballón, Maria Emma Santos, Mauricio Apablaza, José Manuel Roche, Suman Seth, and Diego Zavaleta.

 Course Application Information

The summer school is addressed to those who are working on, or actively interested in gaining skills in multidimensional poverty measurement, particularly academics, professionals, and post-graduate students. Applicants who are already at the stage of pursuing a research project or work on measurement are particularly welcome. Other applicants having a demonstrated research interest in empirical analysis in these topics can be considered on the basis of their experience and space availability.


  • A demonstrable knowledge of STATA is an absolute pre-requisite for attending the course. Every attendant to the summer school will need to have STATA 10 or higher installed in his/her laptop. The software is not provided by the summer school.
  • Where possible, participants should have a strong knowledge in quantitative methods (e.g. econometrics, statistics, etc), and a strong interest in poverty measurement and analysis.

Financial Support

Limited partial and full financial support will be available. Competition for financial support will be very strong; however well qualified and committed applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are also highly encouraged to seek support from their local government and institutions. We would be happy to provide support letters for funding applications.

Further Information

Please write to Tery van Taack, tery.vantaack@qeh.ox.ac.uk


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