Dushanbe, December 12, 2014 – Best international practices and national approaches in measuring poverty were the focus of the international conference held in Dushanbe today. The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development of Tajikistan in partnership with the Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan, the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, and the World Bank, as members of the Council for Poverty and Middle Class Measurement.
First Deputy Prime-Minister Davlatali Said and World Bank’s Poverty Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia Carolina Sanchez-Paramo opened the conference, which was attended by representatives of the government, donor agencies, media, and civil society organizations. The conference presented global poverty measurement methods and limitations, compared national poverty measurement and institutions with international experience, and discussed the proposed National Poverty Measurement Methodology for Tajikistan.
The proposed National Poverty Measurement Methodology is based on the Household Budget Survey (HBS) and is the first country-owned methodology. Previously, from 1999 to 2009, poverty in Tajikistan was measured using the Tajikistan Living Standard Surveys (TLSS). However, the two approaches – HBS and TLSS – employ different survey designs, and therefore, the data they produce are not comparable. The new approach is based on international best practice of measuring poverty and will help the Government of Tajikistan to collect comprehensive and reliable household data and to report on poverty trends and indicators in Tajikistan on a regular basis.
“We are glad to see Tajikistan’s efforts to adopt a national poverty measurement methodology, which is a result of many years of work by the government, national experts, think tanks and other stakeholders in partnership with the World Bank,” said World Bank’s Poverty Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia Carolina Sanchez-Paramo. “This methodology will enable the country to have regularly updated national data on poverty and welfare of the population, track the trends and inform important policy decisions.”
International experts from Colombia and Georgia shared their experiences of how these countries transitioned towards establishing better institutional arrangements for measuring poverty and adopted improved country-owned poverty methodologies, which enabled them to collect and publicize poverty related information on a regular basis.
The World Bank is partnering with Tajikistan in the area of improving capacity to collect high-quality policy-relevant data through multi-topic household surveys, data analysis, and data utilization in policy formulation. Through support from a DFID-funded Trust Fund, the World Bank has supported the Government’s efforts to establish an intergovernmental Council for Poverty and Middle Class Measurement under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The Council brings together key government entities and has a coordination role on issues related to poverty data.
About the World Bank Program in Tajikistan:
In line with the World Bank Group’s global goals, the World Bank Country Partnership Strategy in Tajikistan focuses on reducing extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity by expanding opportunities for the private sector and vulnerable groups. The current World Bank portfolio comprises 13 investment operations with net commitments of US$220.6 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in urban, rural and social development (21%), followed by agriculture (18%), energy (16%), governance (10%), environment & natural resources (7%), health, nutrition and population (7%), education (7%), water (7%), trade and competitiveness (5%), social protection and labor (2%).
The World Bank Group is committed to further support Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives of people and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.