Dr Sabina Alkire

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


Dr Alkire works on multidimensional measures for poverty and wellbeing. Multidimensional poverty measurement complements monetary poverty measures and includes dimensions such as health, education, nutrition, standard of living, work, security, lived environment, 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 been adopted by governments across the world including Colombia, Pakistan and Sierra Leone, and is used by the United Nations Development Programme.

Perhaps the most visible application is the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) that OPHI and UNDP’s Human Development Report Office update annually. It measures national poverty for over 100 countries in developing regions, about 6 billion people, and provides disaggregated data for over 1,200 subnational regions, as well as age cohorts and other groups.

The multidimensional measurement methodology is also the basis of the 'Gross National Happiness Index' of Bhutanese Government which has been updated since 2008.

Dr Alkire participates in initiatives seeking to take a rigorous, efficient multidimensional approach to poverty or well-being, for example, the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (instigated by President Sarkozy); and the World Bank’s Commission on Monitoring Global Poverty among others. 


  • Multidimensional Poverty measurement and analysis (including the global Multidimensional Poverty Index or global MPI and National MPIs)
  • Measurement of wellbeing including Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index and other measures of social progress and quality of life.
  • Capability Approach (the capability approach to human development, developed by Amartya Sen and others)
  • Analysis of poverty looking at regions, gender, age, inequality within the household, ethnic groups, caste, religion, disabilities, covid co-morbidities, etc.
  • Data for Multidimensional Poverty, Environment, Health, Impact of Covid
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and SDG Indicators
  • Women’s Empowerment and Measures of Empowerment
  • South Asia and Latin America

Media experience

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


English, Spanish