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Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI)

Oxford Dept of International Development, Queen Elizabeth House

University of Oxford, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB, UK

+44 1865 281744 (tel)


University of Oxford 1991–1999 (Magdalen College)

1999 DPhil in Economics.

1995 MSc in Economics for Development (Webb Medley Prize).

1994 MPhil in Christian Political Ethics.

1992 Diploma of Theology (Distinction in Islam).
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1989 Bachelors of Arts in Sociology Cognate: Pre-Medical Studies GPA 4.96/5.00


2006– Director, Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford.

2003– Research Associate at the Global Equity Initiative, Harvard University.

2001–03 Research Writer for Commission on Human Security, co-chaired by A.K. Sen and S. Ogata.

1999–01 Coordinator of the Culture and Poverty Learning-Research Program, World Bank, PREM.
Honors and Awards:

Foreign Policy ‘100 global thinkers 2010’ Rhodes Scholarship, 1991−1994

Thulin Scholar of Religion & Contemporary Culture 2010 Phi Beta Kappa

George Webb Medley Prize, 1995 MUCIA Scholar, 1989

V.A. Demant Prize, 1994 Chancellor’s Scholar, 1986−1989

Forthcoming Books, Research in Progress and Working Papers
“Changes over time for 34 countries” with Roche and Vaz, Alkire, S., Roche, J. M., and Vaz, A. OPHI Research in Progress Paper 41a. 2014.

“Destitution RP” with Conconi and Seth, Alkire, S., Conconi, A., and Seth, S. ‘OPHI Research in Progress 42a. 2014

“EU-SILC” with Apablaza and Jung. OPHI Research in Progress 36b. Forthcoming 2014.

“Chonic poverty WP” with Apablaza, Chakravarty and Yalonetzky Forthcoming, 2014.

“Towards frequent accurate poverty Data ”Alkire, S. (2014). Forthcoming, 2014.

Multidimensional Poverty Measurement and Analysis: A Counting Approach. with Paola Ballon, James Foster, Jose Manuel Roche, Maria Emma Santos, and Suman Seth (OUP, forthcoming 2014).

“Evaluating Dimensional and Distributional Contributions to Multidimensional Poverty” with James Foster. Mimeo. 2013.

“Measuring Chronic Multidimensional Poverty: A Counting Approach”, with Gaston Yalonetzky, Mauricio Apablaza, and Satya Chakravarty. Mimeo. 2013.

“Analysis of Inequality across Multi-dimensionally Poor and Population Subgroups for Counting Approaches”, with Suman Seth. Mimeo. 2013.

“Well-being, Happiness and Public Policy”, OPHI Research in Progress 37a. 2013.

“Where do the World’s Multidimensionally Poor Live?” with Jose Manuel Roche and Andy Sumner. OPHI Working Paper 61. 2013.

“Multidimensional Poverty Reduction in India between 1999 and 2006: Where and How?” with Suman Seth. OPHI Working Paper 60. 2013.

“Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index”, with Maria Emma Santos. OPHI Working Paper 59. 2013.

“Multidimensional Poverty Measurement for EU-SILC Countries”, with Mauricio Apablaza and Eujin Jung. OPHI Research in Progress 36a. 2012.

“Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries”, with Maria Emma Santos.OPHI Working Paper 38 and UNDP HDRO Background Paper 2010/11. 2010.

“Designing the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index”, with James Foster. OPHI Working Paper 37 and UNDP HDRO Background Paper 2010/28. 2010.

“Human Development: Definitions, Critiques, and Related Concepts”. OPHI Working Paper 36 and UNDP HDRO Background Paper 2010/01. 2010.

“Winning Ideas: Lessons from Free Market Economics”, with Angus Ritchie. OPHI Working Paper 6. 2007.

“The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index”, with Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Amber Peterman, Agnes Quisumbing, Greg Seymour, and Ana Vaz. World Development, 52, 71–91. 2013.

“A Multidimensional Approach: Poverty Measurement & Beyond”, with Maria Emma Santos. Introduction to the Special Issue of Social Indicators Research, 112, 239 –257. 2013.

“Selecting a Targeting Method to Identify BPL Households in India”, with Suman Seth. Social Indicators Research, 112(2), 417–446. 2013.

“Identifying BPL Households: A Comparison of Methods”, with Suman Seth. Economic and Political Weekly. 48(2), 49–57. 2013.

“Where did Identification Go?” with James Foster and Maria Emma Santos. Journal of Economic Inequality, 9, 501–505. 2011.

“Counting and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement”, with James Foster. Journal of Public Economics, 95(7–8), 476–487. 2011.

“Understandings and Misunderstandings of Multidimensional Poverty Measurement”, with James Foster. Journal of Economic Inequality, 9, 289–314. 2011.

“Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty in China: Estimation and Policy Implications”, with Wang Xiaolin. Chinese Rural Economy, 12, 4–10. 2009.

“Determining BPL Status: Some Methodological Improvements”, with Suman Seth. The Indian Journal of Human Development, 2(2), 407–424. 2009.

“The Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data: Introduction to the Special Issue”. Oxford Development Studies, 35(4), 347–359. 2007.

“Agency and Empowerment: A Proposal for Internationally Comparable Indicators”, with Solava Ibrahim. Oxford Development Studies, 35(4), 379–403. 2007.

“Subjective Quantitative Studies of Human Agency”. Social Indicators Research, 74(1), 217–260. 2005.

“Why the Capability Approach?” Journal of Human Development, 6(1), 115–135. 2005.

“Global Health and Moral Values”, with Lincoln Chen. The Lancet, 364(9439), 1069–1074. 2004.

“Dimensions of Human Development”. World Development, 30(2), 181–205. 2002.

“A Practical Reasoning Theory of Development Ethics: Furthering the Capabilities Approach”, with Rufus Black. Journal of International Development, 9(2), 263–279. 1997.
Books and Edited Books

An Extensive Analysis of GNH Index, co-authored with Karma Ura, Tshoki Zangmo and Karma Wangdi. Thimphu: The Centre for Bhutan Studies. 2012.

GNH and the GNH Index: A Short Guide to Gross National Happiness Index, co-authored with Karma Ura and Tshoki Zangmo Thimphu: Center for Bhutan Studies. 2012.

The Capability Approach: Concepts, Measures and Applications, co-edited with Flavio Comim and Mozaffar Qizilbash. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008.

Valuing Freedoms: Sen’s Capability Approach and Poverty Reduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002.
Book Chapters

“Bhutan: Gross National Happiness and the GNH index”, with Karma Ura and Tshoki Zangmo. In J. Helliwell, R. Layard, and J. Sachs, eds. World Happiness Report. New York: Earth Institute, Columbia University. 2012. 109–147

“Beyond Headcount: Measures that Reflect the Breadth and Components of Child Poverty”, with José Manuel Roche. In Alberto Minujin and Shailen Nandy, eds. Global Child Poverty and Well-Being: Measurement, Concepts, Policy and Action. Bristol: The Policy Press. 2012.

“Multidimensional Poverty and its Discontents”. In Measure for Measure: How Well Do We Measure Development? Proceedings of the 8th AFD-EUDN Conference. 2011. 55-90.

“Development: A Misconceived Theory Can Kill”. In Christopher Morris, ed. Amartya Sen:

Contemporary Philosophy in Focus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010. 191–120.

“The Capability Approach as a Development Paradigm”. In Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, ed. Debating Global Society: Reach and Limits of the Capability Approach. Milan: Feltrinelli Foundation. 2009.

“A Normative Framework for Development” and “The Human Development and Capability Approach”, with Séverine Deneulin. In Séverine Deneulin and Lila Shahani, eds. An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach: Freedom and Agency. London and Sterling, VA: Earthscan and International Development Research Centre. 2009. 3–48

“Poverty and Inequality Measurement”, with Maria Emma Santos. In Séverine Deneulin and Lila Shahani, eds. An Introduction to the Human Development and Capability Approach: Freedom and Agency. London and Sterling, VA: Earthscan. 2009. 121–161.

“Counting and Multidimensional Poverty”, with James Foster. In Joachim von Braun, Ruth Vargas Hill, and Rajul Pandya-Lorch, eds. The Poorest and Hungry: Assessment, Analysis and Actions. Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute. 2009. 77–90.

“Amartya Sen”. In Jan Peil and Irene van Staveren, eds. Handbook of Economics and Ethics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 2009. 484–492.

“Concepts of Measures and Agency”. In Kaushik Basu and Ravi Kanbur, eds. Arguments for a Better World: Essays in Honor of Amartya Sen. Volume I: Ethics, Welfare and Measurement. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2008. 455–474.

“Choosing Dimensions: The Capability Approach and Multidimensional Poverty”. In Nanak Kakwani and Jaques Silber, eds. The Many Dimensions of Poverty. Basingstoke: Palgrave-MacMillan. 2008. 89–119

“Using the Capability Approach: Prospective and Evaluative Analyses”. In Sabina Alkire, Flavio Comim and Mozaffar Qizilbash, eds. The Capability Approach: Concepts, Measures and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008. 26–50.

“Measuring Freedoms Alongside Well-Being”. In I. Gough and J. Allister McGregor, eds. Well-Being in Developing Countries: New Approaches and Research Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2007. 93–108

“Public Debate and Value Construction in Sen’s Approach”. In Alexander Kaufman, ed. Capabilities Equality: Basic Issues and Problems. London: Routledge. 2006. 133–154

“Needs and Capabilities”. In Soran Reader, ed. The Philosophy of Need. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, 80. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2006. 229–252.

“Medical Exceptionalism in International Migration: Should Doctors and Nurses be Treated Differently?” with Lincoln Chen. In Kristof Tomas and Joakim Palme, eds. Globalizing Migration Regimes. Aldershot: Ashgate. 2006. 100–117

“Structural Injustice and Democratic Practice: The Trajectory in Sen’s Writings”. In Séverine Deneulin, Mathias Nebel and Nicholas Sagovsky, eds. Transforming Unjust Structures: The Capability Approach, Dordrecht: Springer. 2006. 47–62.

“Religion and Development”. In David Alexander Clark, ed. The Elgar Companion to Development Studies, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 2006. 502–510.

“The Role of External Actors”. In Vidjayendra Rao and Michael Walton, eds. Culture and Public Action: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on Development Policy. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2004. 185–209.

“Concepts of Human Security”. In Lincoln Chen, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, and Ellen Seidensticker eds. Human Insecurity in a Global World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2003. 15–40.

“Individual Motivation, its Nature, Determinants and Consequences for within Group Behaviour,” with Séverine Deneulin. In Judith Heyer, Frances Stewart, and Rosemary Thorp, eds. Group Motivation and Development: Is the Market Destroying Cooperation? WIDER Studies in Development Economics, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002. 51–73.

“The Basic Dimensions of Human Flourishing: A Comparison of Accounts”. In Nigel Biggar and Rufus Black, eds. The Revival of Natural Law. Aldershot: Ashgate. 2001. 73–110.

Honorary Chaplain, Magdalen College Chapel; Associate Priest, Parish of Cowley St John East Oxford


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