Can India's UN-Recognized Poverty Reduction Success Inspire Change?

Good Governance: Percentage of people who were multi-dimensionally poor & deprived under the nutrition indicator fell from 44.3% in 2005/2006 to 11.8% in 2019/2021. Child mortality decreased from 4.5% to 1.5%

The Processor
New Update

According to the latest update of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford, India has made remarkable progress in reducing poverty. The report highlights that within just 15 years, from 2005/2006 to 2019/2021, a total of 415 million people in India moved out of poverty.

India's Poverty Reduction Success:

The report emphasizes that poverty reduction is achievable, as demonstrated by India's significant progress. In 2005/2006, approximately 645 million people in India were in multidimensional poverty. This number declined to about 370 million in 2015/2016 and further to 230 million in 2019/2021. The incidence of poverty also fell from 55.1% in 2005/2006 to 16.4% in 2019/2021.

The report highlights improvements in various indicators of poverty in India. Deprivation in nutrition, child mortality, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, and housing all declined significantly. For instance, the percentage of people who were multi-dimensionally poor and deprived under the nutrition indicator fell from 44.3% in 2005/2006 to 11.8% in 2019/2021. Child mortality decreased from 4.5% to 1.5%, and deprivation of cooking fuel declined from 52.9% to 13.9%. The percentage of people deprived of sanitation dropped from 50.4% in 2005/2006 to 11.3% in 2019/2021.

Fastest Progress for the Poorest States and Groups:

The report notes that the poorest states and groups in India, including children and people from disadvantaged caste groups, experienced the fastest absolute progress. This indicates that efforts to reduce poverty have had a significant impact on the most vulnerable segments of the population.

India is among 25 countries, including Cambodia, China, Congo, Honduras, Indonesia, Morocco, Serbia, and Vietnam, that successfully halved their global MPI values within 15 years, demonstrating rapid progress in poverty reduction. However, the report acknowledges the challenges posed by the lack of comprehensive data during the COVID-19 pandemic, making it difficult to assess immediate prospects accurately.

Importance of Post-Pandemic Data:

While a few countries such as Mexico, Madagascar, Cambodia, Peru, and Nigeria showed persistent momentum in poverty reduction during the pandemic, the full global impact remains to be measured. The press release emphasizes the need for comprehensive data collection, particularly concerning the effects of the pandemic on children, including school attendance and undernutrition.

The scarcity of data on multidimensional poverty is highlighted as a significant challenge. Efforts to track and address poverty effectively require improved data collection. The report urges funders and data scientists to focus on poverty data, emphasizing that gathering data on multidimensional poverty is faster than commonly perceived, requiring just 5% of survey questions.