A tale of two indices in this age of economic contrasts
The Global Hunger Index and UNDP’s Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index have both indicated a need we cannot overlook: to speed up progress on ending deprivation in India.
Earlier this month, two cross-country comparisons on indicators of multi-dimensional poverty and hunger were released by international organizations. Both these are annual series which are brought out by reputed institutions. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is available from 2006 and tracks the progress of countries in eliminating hunger. The second report, by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), presents a Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 111 countries. Both these agencies use publicly available data sets, but different indicators of the data available from the respective country surveys. In the case of India, the primary data source is the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which is conducted under the aegis of the Union ministry of health. This is a nationally representative survey, of which the fifth round (NFHS-5) was conducted in 2020-21.