A priority in Juan Manuel Santos’ administration was that Colombia would become a country with less poverty and greater equality. After eight years of work in different social fronts -such as early childhood, free education, housing for the lower income population, expansion in the coverage of essential public services- outstanding results were obtained in decreasing poverty, placing Colombia at the top of equality progress in the region. While in 2009, 40 out of 100 Colombians were poor, in 2017 that figure decreased to 27 out of every 100. 

In order to better focus social investment, Santos promoted the implementation of a stricter and more comprehensive way of measuring poverty: the Multidimensional Poverty Index developed by Nobel Prize for Economics Amartya Sen at the University of Oxford. Santos has been appointed by this University as the co-founder and spokesman of the Multidimensional Poverty Network (MPPN), one of the main reasons that explains why the fight against poverty is still at the center of his activities and concerns.