Tanzania cherishes WB’s capacity-building support

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA has commended the World Bank for its financial and technical support in building capacity for research and the use of data to support the policy-making process.

The Deputy Minister for Finance, Hamad Hassan Chande made the remarks at an event to mark the 15th Anniversary of the World Bank’s premier household survey, the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

The deputy minister singled out the support provided by the World Bank in strengthening the National Bureau of Statistics and Zanzibar Bureau of Statistics in conducting longitudinal household surveys and interviews.

He stated that the World Bank’s support has helped carry out a number of reforms to boost productivity in the agricultural sector, making Tanzania a breadbasket in the East and Central Africa region.

“Tanzania has implemented several policy reforms in the agricultural sector and is now relied upon to supply food to neighbouring countries,” said the deputy minister.

The event brought together top-tier researchers and high-level policymakers from Africa to advance the dialogue on research, policy, and development impacts of the LSMS-ISA initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Tanzania.

It was organised by the National Bureau of Statistics of Tanzania in partnership with the Office of the Chief Government Statistician in Zanzibar. It showcased the latest papers by African researchers using the survey data to support policymaking.

Mr Chande emphasised that the support in building research capacity was critical in carrying out Household Budget Surveys in 2011/12 and 2017/18, which revealed important gains in poverty alleviation.

The two surveys showed that basic needs poverty declined from 28.2 per cent in the 2011-12 HBS to 26.4 per cent in the 2017-18 HBS. Similarly, food poverty declined from 9.7 per cent in 2011-12 to 8.0 per cent in 2017-18.

Pedro Olinto, a World Bank Senior Economist, told the ‘Daily News’ that the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) was important in helping to understand more about changes in economic growth, household expenditure, and poverty reduction.

“It shows the dynamics of poverty reduction in Tanzania. It helps us understand what is behind poverty reduction and allows us to understand the process of moving out of poverty,” he said.

For instance, through longitudinal surveys, they realised a reversal of rural-urban migration during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The event concluded with a panel discussion focused on distilling the LSMS-ISA experience in the areas of statistical capacity building, use of data for research and policy, and the role that longitudinal multi-topic household surveys can play against the background of climate change, future large-scale health shocks, and intensifying fragility and conflict.

The Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) is a unique system of longitudinal surveys designed to improve understanding of household and individual welfare, livelihoods, and smallholder agriculture in Africa.

The LSMS-ISA project collaborates with the national statistics offices of its eight partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to design and implement systems of multi-topic, nationally representative panel household surveys with a strong focus on agriculture. The primary objective of the project is to foster innovation and efficiency in statistical research on the links between agriculture and poverty reduction in the region.

The LSMS-ISA project is supporting the design and implementation of the Tanzania National Panel Survey (TZNPS), with a focus on expanding the agricultural content of the TZNPS and ensuring comparability with other surveys being carried out under the LSMS-ISA project in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The TZNPS is a nationally representative household panel survey that collects information on a wide range of topics, including agricultural production, non-farm income-generating activities, consumption expenditures, and a wealth of other socioeconomic characteristics.

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