Multidimensional poverty in mountainous regions: Shan and Chin in Myanmar

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Poverty is complex and multidimensional. People living in mountainous regions are vulnerable and more likely to experience multiple deprivation. However, few studies have addressed multidimensional poverty in mountainous regions. Using data from 4290 households of poverty and vulnerability assessment survey and the Alkire–Foster methodology, this paper estimate and decompose multidimensional poverty in the states of Shan and Chin in Myanmar. The multidimensional poverty is measured in five dimensions and a set of twelve indicators. Nearly half of the population in Shan and three-quarters in Chin were multidimensionally poor. The average intensity of poverty was 44% in Chin and 38% in Shan. The multidimensional poverty index was 0.33 in Chin and 0.19 in Shan. The level of multidimensional poverty in Chin was similar to that in of Sub-Saharan Africa. In Chin, 60% of the population was both multidimensionally poor and consumption poor, but in Shan, it was 20%. About 28% of the population in Shan and 15% in Chin were multidimensionally poor but not consumption poor. Deprivation in education accounts for one-third of the multidimensional poverty in Shan; while deprivation in health accounts for one-third of the multidimensional poverty in Chin. A higher proportion of multidimensionally poor had experienced shocks such as the death of a household member, agricultural loss, or death of livestock compared to the multidimensional non-poor. Multidimensional poverty was significantly higher for rural household, households with lower educational attainment, consumption poor and among those who lived in Chin. Poverty reduction programs require a holistic understanding of poverty and its different dimensions as well as the main contributing factors for effective planning and program implementation. Geographical targeting of poverty reduction program and larger investment in food, health, water, energy and education can reduce the extent of multidimensional poverty in Shan and Chin.






Population, Environmental Risks, and the Climate Crisis (PERCC)