GABORONE, November 17, 2015 – Through a World Bank-supported program, the Botswana government statistics office kicked started an innovative household survey that will enhance the government’s poverty fighting efforts and help achieve its development goal to improve the lives of the people of Botswana.
More than one hundred trained field workers are traversing the country to sample upwards of 7,000 households to collect data nationally for a Continuous Multi Topic Household Survey. The survey covers a wide range of indicators, from information on income and expenditure, to data on labor force-related matters. In addition, the information gathered will be entered in the database while in the field, making it possible to monitor the quality of the data on the spot.
“This survey is critical to providing policy makers with timely evidence that is needed to better understand the nature of poverty and the probable effects that Government policies have on the poor as well as provide statistical information needed for planning and for investment purposes,” said Elene Imnadze, World Bank country representative in Botswana.
Stated in the country’s National Development Plan (10), Botswana’s development priorities are growing the economy, addressing employment and skills shortage, as well as social upliftment, which includes HIV/AIDS interventions and formulating sustainable environment policies which support the conservation and protection of natural resources and the promotion of the use of renewable energy as alternatives as well as governance safety and security. Achieving these goals will require relevant statistical information upon which to base analysis and policy formulation.
The project is in line with the World Bank’s initiative to address the challenge faced by some developing countries of collecting periodic poverty data under the theme ‘Data deprivation: Another deprivation to End.’ The frequency and quality of this data will also help monitor progress on the World Bank’s stated twin goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity for the bottom 40%of people in developing countries.
Done in collaboration with the Botswana Office of the President and Botswana Statistics, the collection of the data for this Continuous Multi Topic Survey is a culmination of a year-long technical assistance by the World Bank. This support included design, methodology, questionnaires, sampling, training enumerators on data entry and field work organization, quality control as well as the operational strategy for the undertaking of continuous multi-topic surveys.
“With this exercise, we developed a tool that will improve quality and frequency of data that will be comparable over time and provide a model for future surveys,” said Victor Sulla, World Bank task team leader for the program. “It will also help enhance the capacity of Botswana Statistics to collect data and generate analytic work.”
In October 2015, the World Bank Group pledged to work with developing countries and international partners to ensure that the 78 poorest nations have household-level surveys every three years, with the first round to be completed by 2020.