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Disaggregating the Global MPI by Ethnicity feat. Sabina Alkire, Fanni Kovesdi & Maren Andrea Jiménez

This joint seminar with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Report Office (HDRO) virtual event took place on Monday, May 17th, 2021. “Disaggregating the Global MPI by Ethnicity” featured OPHI Director Sabina Alkire, OPHI Research Analyst
Fanni Kovesdi, and DESA Social Affairs Officer Maren Andrea Jiménez. Rachel M. Gisselquist, a Senior Research Fellow with the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), provided discussant remarks. IIEP Co-Director James Foster moderated the event.

Alkire and Kovesdi discussed how the painful topic of race relations, discrimination, and disparities across ethnic groups are in the public eye. Far earlier, Amartya Sen drew attention to the disparity in life expectancies between Costa Rica, Kerala India, and African-American men. Can we study ethnic inequalities quantitatively at a larger scale? This presentation disaggregates the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by ethnicity for 24 countries and 650 million people, using the recognized ethnic groups for which data were representative. Striking disparities are visible – ranging from pockets of poverty among groups such as the Roma, to yawning gaps between the average poverty levels. This paper illustrates the methodology – and the importance – of disaggregating global poverty measures by ethnic groups.

Jiménez discussed how part of the historic and ambitious nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is its pledge to leave no one behind, including a specific goal to reduce inequality between and within countries. This move beyond national averages to look at the unequal distribution of resources, opportunities and voice within countries includes the target to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.

These seminars are organized jointly with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative at Oxford University and the UNDP Human Development Report Office. They are hosted by IIEP Co-Director James Foster, GWU.

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