KUALA LUMPUR, Training programmes and stakeholders' involvement are needed for effective implementation of reforms to combat poverty, said Universiti Malaya's Ungku Aziz Centre for Development Studies director Datin Seri Prof Dr Suhaiza Hanim Mohamad Zailani. She said with growing attention to poverty issues and the idea of multidimensional poverty, it is imperative that stakeholders receive the necessary training to ensure that the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is comprehended fully and applied in policy and decision-making. 'As one of the strategies to combat poverty, training programmes based on the MPI should be developed to provide individuals and organisations the knowledge, tools, and capacity necessary to comprehend and tackle the complexities of poverty that extend beyond income-based measures,' she said in a statement today. Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, in a televised national address, said the government is serious in its efforts to increase the people's earnings a nd eradicate hardcore poverty in Malaysia. Anwar said that one of the initiatives was the implementation of the People's Income Initiative (IPR), in collaboration with state governments, which has thus far shown progress, and he described it as reassuring. The prime minister also reiterated that the government is currently formulating a Progressive Wage Policy for the private sector, in line with improvements made to the salaries and allowances of civil servants. Elaborating, Suhaiza Hanim said a well-thought-out training plan would provide stakeholders the tools they need to analyse and interpret data, enabling them to effectively use the MPI in intervention efforts and policy-making. She added that training on information dissemination and capacity building should also be carried out to maximise the MPI's impact in materialising more specialised and focused actions in addressing poverty's unique aspects. Suhaiza Hanim added that extensive and productive stakeholder interaction is also needed to ensure plans are adaptive and responsive to the changing demands as well as obstacles of poverty eradication initiatives. She said various stakeholder groups' distinct priorities and interests should also be considered towards that end, apart from creating a sense of ownership and accountability amongst them. Source: BERNAMA News Agency