In October 2015, Costa Rica took a transcendental step in its attempt to better identify and attend to the country’s most vulnerable population by establishing the Multidimensional Poverty Index. This led the Central American country to consider the use of five dimensions that encompass what would be known as the multidimensionality of poverty.
These five dimensions address areas such as education, health, labour, social protection, housing conditions, and internet use. In its first years of implementation, the former Vice-President of the Republic of Costa Rica mentioned the strengthening of “[…] public-private partnerships and the contributions of academia in this effort to promote the use of comprehensive quantitative-qualitative methodologies” as key factors for stepping up the fight against poverty.
Into this context, two years later in August 2017, the Asociación Horizonte Positivo, with technical support from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), launched the Business Multidimensional Poverty Index (bMPI) as a private-sector initiative.
The Business MPI is an adaptation of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for the corporate sector. It measures the living conditions of employees and their families in various areas considered as priorities for the country. Costa Rica is the first country in the world to use the MPI in the business sector, and the model was so successful that it was replicated by the OPHI, through the creation of SOPHIA Oxford, which currently focuses on the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.