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IDRC partner wins a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in the United Kingdom

January 15, 2020
The University of Oxford is among the recipients of the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of research conducted by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
A Guatemalan woman and her children stand inside a house. The eldest holds packages of food.
Feed My Starving Children



Based at the Oxford Department of International Development, this initiative developed the Multidimensional Poverty Index, which bases national and international development policies on the multiple experiences of the poor.

IDRC financially supported the groundwork for the index — an international measure of acute poverty that looks well beyond income to measure individual deprivations in relation to education, health, and standard of living. It provides a more comprehensive view of poverty in more than 100 developing countries and helps to provide the leaders of these countries with the tools needed to develop programs that reflect the reality of billions of people around the world.

The index was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, which incorporates this tool into its Human Development Report. At the national level, 20 governments have adapted the index to assist them in more effectively targeting, budgeting, and coordinating policies.

Building on this experience, the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) has adapted the index to the private sector, equipping companies to measure and combat multidimensional poverty among their employees, employees’ families, and suppliers. sOPHIa Oxford, the first social enterprise spinout of the University of Oxford, aims to expand the use of this index in the private sector.

IDRC’s renewed support of sOPHIa will help to integrate a gender perspective into the tool and to test it in Guatemala with the participation of gender experts, local businesses, and researchers. The development of these types of tools, which take gender specificities and other inequality indicators in the work environment into account, are important for promoting inclusive trade action.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education are awarded biennially to universities and colleges in the United Kingdom.