Human Development, Poverty and Youth

Poverty and human development have long been core areas of research for the department. Going beyond a narrow conception of per capita income, our approach incorporates health, education, living standards and quality of work – all of which enable productive, creative and autonomous lives.

Our present strength and reputation in this field is due mainly to two research groups: the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and Young Lives

ODID faculty, notably Professor Emerita Frances Stewart, participated in design, methodology and research for the UNDP's flagship Human Development Report from its foundation in 1990. This work has been continued and enlarged by OPHI, winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2020. With its innovative Multidimensional Poverty Index, OPHI contributes globally to the conception of the Sustainable Development Goals and also engages with many national governments on data gathering and measurement of poverty to provide evidence for policy.

Building human capabilities necessarily starts with children, and the Young Lives project, initiated in 2001, conducts longitudinal study of childhood poverty following the lives of 12,000 children in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. Carried out in collaboration with country partners, the study covers education, skills, work, health, nutrition, inequality, child protection and gender. This multi-country longitudinal research has now moved from studying children to youth, as their original child cohorts have grown older. Young Lives has also developed a new focus on work, in view of the crisis of youth employment.

29 Aug, 2017
Young Lives to launch 2016-17 school survey findings
24 Aug, 2017
Costa Rica launches world's first 'Business MPI'
10 Jul, 2017
New article by Padmini Iyer and Rhiannon Moore examines how Young Lives conceptualise, measure learning quality
21 Jun, 2017
Podcast of James Ferguson's Olof Palme Lecture now available
05 Jun, 2017
New OPHI research: half the world's poor are children
19 May, 2017
New OPHI article explores multidimensional poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa
18 May, 2017
New article by former ODID DPhils examines place of technology in Capability Approach
23 Mar, 2017
New article co-authored by Sabina Alkire explores changes in multidimensional poverty over time in 34 countries
13 Mar, 2017
OAS and OPHI sign Joint Declaration on multidimensional poverty
04 Jan, 2017
OPHI to host Amartya Sen for lecture on ‘Democracy and Social Decisions’