As a legacy of conflict and political insecurity, Somalia currently lacks reliable macro and socio-economic data, making evidence-based policy difficult in terms of proper planning of the country’s economic recovery and development. However, smart phone technologies can play an important role in rebuilding the country’s vital databases, such as those of food consumption and expenditure.
World Bank Supporting Innovative High-Frequency Survey
The World Bank recently supported an innovative high-frequency survey initiative to establish statistical baselines effectively. This effort was repeated to collect a second wave of data in 2017/18 which enabled a comprehensive analysis of poverty and vulnerability across different household types. This data has also been utilised for the preparation of the new Somalia’s national development plan, 2020-2024, which has served as an interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (iPRSP), thus underpinning the country’s ability to secure debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
Nevertheless, at best, such an ad hoc approach to the collection of household data only provides a moving snapshot picture of the situation every two or more years, as opposed to more frequent cross-sectional surveys, preferably with repeated longitudinal sub-sample to better monitor and evaluate dynamics of household poverty and vulnerability over time. This is very important given the rapidly improving security, governance, and economic environment which are likely to affect household income significantly and, therefore, consumption in the future.
Furthermore, the advanced survey methodology required to collect such comprehensive consumption data increases the complexity of the survey questionnaire, which can in turn increase the gap between existing and required capacity at the level of enumerators. Therefore, capacity building is essential and, to fill this skills gap, needs to involve both formal statistical training and expert advice on ad hoc technical issues within emerging statistical authorities in Somalia.
Agribusiness Solutions Hub has solid expertise in this area and can support you to develop the technical capacity needed to collect and analyse household data based on international best practices. We can also support you to build the capacity necessary to collect high quality data on economic activities across all relevant sectors.
A leading consultancy firm providing agricultural and analytical services to agriculture and food industry and policymakers in the Horn of Africa
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