Normative Measurement in Theory and Practice
Achin ChakrabortyInstitute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK)
When cardinally meaningful partial measures are combined to form a composite measure, the values of which are sensitive to transformations, the robustness of the results can be questioned on the ground of ‘arbitrary’ choices made in the process. Against the backdrop of the theoretical developments in normative measurement we review the application of the MPI methodology by NITI Aayog in the recent National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023, which reports that 135 million people ‘exited multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21’. We also discuss with other illustrations the pitfalls of not recognizing the normative/ethical positions implicit in the use of indices in applied research and how plurality of value positions makes evaluative research a contested terrain.