This paper argues for the multidimensional measurement of poverty in Pakistan particularly in the context of Millennium Development Goals. It critically examines the Poverty Scorecard, which was recently introduced by the Government of Pakistan for the identification of poor households under the Benazir Income Support Programme. By employing the Alkire and Foster measure to analyze household data from two provinces, Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwah (the re-named North-West Frontier Province) and Punjab, it provides an alternative method to estimate multidimensional poverty and identify poor households. The paper also investigates the relationship between household consumption and multidimensional poverty. It contrasts the results obtained by using a multidimensional measurement of poverty with those of the official poverty line. The limitations of the official poverty line are identified and the role of household consumption in explaining deprivations is discussed.
RECOUP Working Paper No. 28, Centre for Education and International Development, University of Cambridge, UK, 37 pp.