A Multidimensional Poverty Measure for the Hindu Kush-Himalayas, Applied to Selected Districts in Nepal (2015)

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Approximately 211 million people live in the Hindu Kush–Himalaya region. Although poverty levels in this region are high, there is a lack of cohesive information on the socioeconomic status of its populations that would enable decision-makers to understand different manifestations of poverty and design effective poverty alleviation programs. Hence, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in consultation with international and regional partners, has developed the Multidimensional Poverty Measure for the Hindu Kush–Himalayas (MPM-HKH). This measure aims to identify and describe poor and vulnerable households across the Hindu Kush–Himalaya region—which is predominantly rural and mountainous and covers several of the world’s least developed countries—in a consistent manner. This article documents how the MPM-HKH was developed and demonstrates the utility of this approach, using Nepal as an example, by analyzing household survey data from 23 districts. The analysis gives important clues about differences in the intensity and composition of multidimensional poverty across these locations, which highlights the need for location-specific poverty alleviation strategies. The findings should help decision-makers to identify areas of intervention and choose the best measures to reduce poverty.