Efforts to eradicate poverty get boost

DAR ES SALAAM: EFFORTS to end poverty in the country got new impetus after a grant to facilitate local researchers launched in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

Oxford Policy Management (OPM) Country Director Dr Charles Sokile said Tanzania has been picked as the first focus country for the Data & Evidence to end Extreme Poverty (DEEP) Challenge Fund due to the need for research evidence and policy change.

“With the use of modern technologies and methodologies, researchers can go deeper into dynamics of poverty, measure it accurately and inform targeted policy interventions,” he said.

He said that the project will deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) during research in data collection.

“The use of AI and other research methods will make it possible to provide quick statistics that will enable the government to make development plans, to help people get out of poverty,” he said.

He said the fund has come up with an alternative method of AI that can measure poverty more quickly, in a shorter time and at a lower cost. He said the project will fund ten studies worth 120m/- that will be conducted between six months and one year.

Dr Sokile said the DEEP Challenge Fund is awarding small and medium grants between 5,000 Euros and 50,000 Euros per research project to local researchers working on national poverty reduction.

DEEP is a research consortium that aims to build evidence, insights and solutions to help end extreme poverty globally. It is led by the OPM in partnership with the World Bank’s Development Data Group and is funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

On his part, the Economic and Social Research Foundation of Tanzania (ESRF) Principal Research Associate, Mr Samwel Wangwe said the project will help to generate insights and evidence to improve national strategy, policy and programmes affecting poverty and vulnerability to poverty in Tanzania.

“I encourage national researchers and analysts to develop and deliver small and medium research projects that will help to generate insights and evidence to improve national strategy, policy and programmes affecting poverty and vulnerability to poverty in Tanzania,” said Prof Wangwe He said the economy is growing but the rate of poverty is not decreasing at the required rate, so the study will help to get data from interior areas in the rural areas.

He said the research findings will be sent to all stakeholders involved in the country’s development for them to make decisions as well as advice accordingly.

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) School of Economics Researcher, Ms Winnie Muangi said that through the DEEP Challenges Fund, many researchers will gain capabilities to conduct various researches.

“As researchers, we can see the gap in implementing policies and various government plans in research that can help to provide data and information on how they can fill the gap to speed up development,” she said.

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