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You are probably wondering, what does Multidimensional Poverty Assessment (MPA) mean?

The MPA project is a collaborative, international initiative led by IFAD to develop, test and pilot a new rapid appraisal tool for local-level rural poverty assessment. The Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) is a project management instrument which measures fundamental dimensions of rural poverty in order to support poverty alleviation efforts in the less-developed world. MPAT provides an overview of the sectors most in need of interventions/assistance at a local-level; thus, there is a strong focus on the fundamental sectors related to human wellbeing. MPAT consists of 10 components:

1. Food & Nutrition Security
2. Domestic Water Supply
3. Health & Healthcare
4. Sanitation & Hygiene
5. Housing, Clothing & Energy
6. Education
7. Farm Assets
8. Non-Farm Assets
9. Exposure & Resilience to Shocks
10. Gender & Social Equality

The MPA Project is primarily funded through an Initiative for Mainstreaming Innovations (IMI) grant from DFID. The IMI provides grants through a competitive process to finance innovative ideas. Our proposal was among many and you can imagine how pleased we were when our proposal was accepted. Keen to get going, we starting our activities in the summer of 2008.

One year down the road, here are some pictures of some of the project’s milestones:

-The MPA Startup Workshop was held in Beijing, on September 24th, 2008,

-The 2nd MPA Workshop was held in New Delhi, on May 15th,

-MPAT has been piloted extensively in Gansu Province (China),

-and Uttarakhand (India).

Thanks to the assistance of IFAD staff and IFAD-supported projects and partners in those areas MPAT has been piloted in well over 500 households and has stimulated a great deal of interest, both among IFAD staff and their government counterparts.

The MPA Wrap-up Workshop is scheduled to be held at IFAD in Rome in September, 2009 –likely preceded or followed by a presentation on the project and MPAT for anyone interested in attending. Once the methodology is finalized, MPA can be used to augment the Baseline, Mid-Term and Completion surveys/evaluations for IFAD projects, or those of other donors and/or governments committed to rural poverty alleviation.

A MPA User's Guide will be published by early 2010 and made available to all online in order to better disseminate this new approach and framework.

For more information please contact:

Mattia Prayer, m.prayer@ifad.org
Thomas Rath, t.rath@ifad.org
Roxanna Samii, r.samii@ifad.org
or Alasdair Cohen, a.cohen@ifad.org