Dr Sabina Alkire | University of Oxford

Dr Sabina Alkire

Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Oxford Department of International Development


Dr Alkire works on a new approach to measuring poverty and well-being that goes beyond the traditional focus on income and growth. This multidimensional approach to measurement includes social goals, such as health, education, nutrition, standard of living and other valuable aspects of life. She devised a new method for measuring multidimensional poverty with her colleague James Foster (OPHI Research Associate and Professor of Economics at George Washington University) that has advantages over other poverty measures and has been adopted by the Mexican Government, the Bhutanese Government in their 'Gross National Happiness Index' and the United Nations Development Programme.

Dr Alkire has been called upon to provide input and advice to several initiatives seeking to take a broader approach to well-being rather than just economic growth, for example, the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (instigated by President Sarkozy); the United Nations Human Development Programme Human Development Report Office; the European Commission; and the UK's Department for International Development.


  • Poverty
  • Measurement of poverty, wellbeing, welfare
  • Development (human development, international development, developing countries)
  • Quality of life
  • Capabilities (the capability approach to human development, developed by Amartya Sen and others)
  • Happiness
  • Economics
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Inequality
  • South Asia (particularly India and Bhutan)
  • Latin America

Media experience

Dr Alkire has extensive media experience in international print media, television, radio and press conferences.