The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) is an economic research centre within the Oxford Department of International Development at the University of Oxford. Established in 2007, the centre is led by Sabina Alkire.
OPHI aims to build and advance a more systematic methodological and economic framework for reducing multidimensional poverty, grounded in people’s experiences and values. OPHI works towards this by:
Broadening poverty measurement. OPHI develops and implements multi-dimensional measures of poverty, wellbeing and inequality. These measures go beyond traditional one-dimensional approaches to incorporate dimensions such as health, education, living standards, quality of work and more innovative dimensions.
Improving data on poverty. OPHI has developed tools to measure five missing dimensions of poverty data that poor people value but which have been largely overlooked in international studies of poverty to date: Quality of Work, Empowerment, Physical Safety, The Ability to go About Without Shame and Psychological Wellbeing.
Building capacity. OPHI runs academic courses and technical training programmes on multidimensional poverty and human development, and collaborates with universities, development agencies, governments and other research institutions and policy makers using our work.
Impacting policy. OPHI’s methodologies have been adopted by policy makers, including national governments and the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report.
OPHI’s work is grounded in Amartya Sen’s capability approach. OPHI works to implement this approach by creating real tools that inform policies to reduce poverty.
OPHI’s team members are involved in a wide range of activities and collaborations around the world, including survey design and testing, quantitative and qualitative data collection, training and mentoring, and advising policy makers.