Belize City. February 22, 2019. The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation is hosting a two-day informational exchange with the Central American Integration System (SICA) focused on measuring poverty, and specifically Multidimensional Poverty. The objective of the meeting is to promote and support Belize in the creation of its Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by providing an opportunity to learn from SICA countries that have already established their MPI; namely El Salvador, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
The proposed shift from the current poverty measurement which looks solely at household expenditure data — defining poverty as a lack of money — to the Multidimensional Poverty Index is in recognition of the fact that poverty is multidimensional in nature, and measurement across different areas of life other than income can provide countries with a more comprehensive understanding of who is poor as well as how they are poor. With an improved understanding of what poverty is, countries can better collect and analyze poverty data, allowing policymakers to make improved, data-driven policy decisions and targeted interventions to those households and individuals most in need of support and assistance.
This exchange with other SICA countries is timely as the Ministry of Human Development prepares to host its third Social Protection Conference in April where policymakers and data managers will discuss how best to characterize poverty within a national MPI for Belize.
The technical exchange is being held in Belize City from February 21-22, 2019 at the Princess Ramada Hotel. Participating in the meetings alongside the Ministry of Human Development are representatives from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, UNDP, and UNICEF.