World Bank Supports Better Statistics in Kenya

September 10, 2015

A new $50 million Statistics Program for Results will help better economic management, generate high quality data and strengthen KNBS capacity

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2015—The World Bank today approved a $50 million Program to support the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) to generate better and more accessible data to inform policy-makers and contribute to strengthening its capacity.

The Kenya Statistics Program-for-Results will support the Government of Kenya to fill data gaps, improve the quality of key official statistical products and processes, enhance dissemination practices and make data more accessible, and contribute to strengthen the capacity and management systems of the KNBS.

“High-quality data are critical to measure progress in growing the economy, reducing poverty and fostering shared prosperity. When statistics are up-to-date and regularly released publically, the data will inform decision making in the public and private sector alike,” said Diarietou Gaye, Country Director for Kenya. “Open data helps not only to measure progress, but also to push it forward. Kenya has made significant progress on the open data front, but more needs to be done to ensure the data are current and regularly updated.”

This successful development financing is about achieving results and institutional strengthening. Everyone—government officials, parliamentarians, civil society, and the private sector—is demanding programs that help deliver sustainable results and build institutions. To address this growing demand, the World Bank developed the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument. Its unique features include using a country’s own institutions and processes, and linking disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific program results. This helps build capacity within the country, enhances effectiveness and efficiency and leads to achievement of tangible, sustainable program results.

The Kenya Statistics Program-for-Results funded by the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)* is innovative and marks a global debut in the use of the PforR instrument to support the development of statistics in a country. 

As Africa’s newest lower-middle income country, Kenya needs to generate the high-quality economic statistics required to inform and attract investments and help grow the economy”, said Johan A. Mistiaen, Sr. Economist and the Program’s Team Leader. “Moreover, current estimates of poverty and inequality are based on data that are a decade old. This operation will support a program of economic and household surveys (including the ongoing 2015-16 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey) to update these statistics and henceforth produce these data on a regular basis.”

The activities supported by the new operation are aligned to the Government’s Vision 2030 and the second Medium Term Plan, which underscore that data and statistics are essential for evidence-based policy making and also for monitoring the development impact. This will create new jobs, reduce extreme poverty and contribute to shared prosperity in line with the Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Kenya (2014-18).

The credit is provided under the standard IDA terms that include a maturity of 38 years with a grace period of six years.

About IDA

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, and helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Aby Toure
Tel : (202) 473-8302
In Kenya
Peter Warutere
Tel : (254-20) 293-6444