Evaluation of Multidimensional Poverty (Capability) in Rural Areas of Hamadan County by Using Alkire and Foster Methods

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Profesor of Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Profesor of Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

4 PhD Student in Geography and Rural Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Poverty reduction as the first goal of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is now the greatest global challenge. The main and central approach in the most economic analysis, from classical economics to development economics is income-based approach. The failure of many development programs which are focused on poverty and inequality is due to serious deficiencies in limited and instrumental traditional perspective, which is income – focused (revenue – centric). In fact, since human being has a multi - dimensional nature and he should meet his different needs to provide an appropriate life, a one-dimensional look at income as a benchmark for prosperity is not a good indicator of poverty studies and it should be completed with other indicators such as housing, education, health, employment, social security, access to public facilities and etc. In this regard, capability approach to the phenomenon of poverty has different indicators including Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). They are explained to measure the extent and severity of poverty. In fact, the goal of capability approach and Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is to identify the weakness of the basic facilities for individuals.
The purpose of this study is to estimate Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) using Alkire and Foster (AF) method. The studied population is rural households which are living in rural areas of Hamadan County (N = 27695). In the first stage, to obtain a homogenous sample, using numerical taxonomic analysis (NTA) and based on the census data of 2011, the villages of Hamadan City (N = 100) in terms of developmental level and according to 55 sub – indicators were classified into three levels. In the next step, using Cochran's formula, the sample size were obtained 855 households, which according to a multi – stage stratified sampling method, the sampling was done from each level given the population of selected villages.
The steps of measuring multi – dimensional poverty can be summarized as follows: (1) selection of poverty analysis unit, (2) choosing the dimensions of poverty and indicators of each dimension, (3) choosing the threshold of deprivation of indicators and evaluation of the level of deprivation of each family per each indicator, (4) measuring the combined poverty index (the weighted average of each household's deprivation), selecting the second threshold of poverty and identifying the poor. In this study, the household is the unit of poverty analysis and the head of household is considered as a household representative.  
To select dimensions from Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), research background and experts' opinions have been used and, finally, 22 indices in the form of 5 dimensions were used to measure multi – dimensional poverty. In order to select the threshold of deprivation, the weighting of indicators was conducted using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, as a weighting method based on the opinions of experts (n = 30). In this study, Expert Choice software was used for this purpose and Excel and Stata were used for data processing.
Results and discussion
Based on the obtained results, the extent of poverty is 49.01%, Intensity of Poverty is 43.75% and the rate of multi-dimensional poverty index (MPI). This can be the product of these two values; it is 21.44% in rural areas of Hamadan. Indicators of income, nutrition, retirement insurance benefits and Employment status have the highest share in Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), respectively. 
The study of the ratio of censored census in each indicator shows that the indicators of having access to the internet, travel facilities, retirement insurance benefit, and income have the highest value in this parameter. This indicates that deprived people in each of these indicators have the largest number of multi – dimensional poor persons.
The findings show that the value of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in the less developed, developing, and developed rural areas has a downward trend. Comparing the extent and severity of poverty in these three regions shows that there is a significant difference in the extent of poverty. In terms of the severity of poverty, despite a downtrend, there is no significant difference. In the next step, multidimensional poverty index was estimated separately in the villages. According to the results, the villages of Sheverin (13.73%), Amzajerd (15.46%) and Boyukabad (16.07%) were the lowest and the villages of Shirabad (41.80%), Aq-Dash (38.35%) and Aliabad Aq-Hesar (36.10%) have the highest amount of multidimensional poverty. Finally, using hierarchical cluster analysis (Ward method), the studied villages were classified into three clusters and the results were mapped using GIS software.
In this study, using the Alkire and Foster method can consider 4 dimensions and 19 indicators; the multi-dimensional poverty index was calculated in rural areas of Hamadan. Based on the obtained results, indicators of income, nutrition, retirement insurance benefits and Employment status have the highest share in Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), respectively.
In terms of employment and reducing income poverty, diversifying income sources and jobs in rural areas and provision of facilities, advertising and extensive training in order to accept insurance of agricultural products, and paying more attention to agricultural promotion systems  to small-scale farming, in order to increase productivity and maintain income; and to reduce poverty, to provide mothers with adequate education through health centers to pay attention to a complete and healthy diet, and due to population aging and migration of young people from rural areas,  the need for serious cultural development in the field of retirement insurance, in rural areas is recommended for the process.
According to the obtained results, given the geographical location of the studied villages, the poverty rate in the villages located in the plain is less than those of the villages located in the mountain, valleys or hills, which is due to having better biological and living, the possibility of attracting more population and consequently, increasing of amenities. Therefore, creation of regional equilibrium by balancing public, social, cultural and educational facilities in rural areas is proposed considerother features of villages with mountainous conditions, such as pleasant weather and rural texture in the direction of develop the tourism industry.


Main Subjects

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