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  1. Nik Soni
    Nik Soni December 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Nice work.

    I think the point about delving into HIES data is well made – alas if only statistics offices would release the full set of the data and not just PDF’s of the aggregates, then people outside of Government may have a shot at this.

    In terms of indicators, I think it is worth tracking several and over time – or to put this another way there is merit in comparing HIES results over time. Some interesting ones are:

    – Basic needs poverty;
    – Basic needs nutrition – this is usually but not always part of the point above;
    – Relative income distribution (usually Gini stuff);
    – Relative income distribution within the country – a point you make very well in your paper and something SPC / AusAID could do with the GIS technology available; and
    – Results relative to reasonable comparator countries (i.e. don’t compare Vanuatu with Singapore)

    However, I think the real value in your piece is to highlight the excellent way the World Bank link the sectoral and HIES data. They did this in Vanuatu in 2004 and it remains in my mind one of the finest pieces of work I have seen by the Bank. I think though for those who have never seen the type of results this type of analysis can highlight it would have been good if your note had shown some of the results.

    For example in Vanuatu we got some outstanding data on how people of different income groups educate their children – basically it showed that most of the kids in secondary came from a certain set of income quintile families etc (middle class and above). The picture for primary was similar and this enabled people to lobby more effectively for universal access to primary education. The information on health was also illuminating. I am hoping that somebody will perform the same exercise with the new HIES.

    The only slight downside with these kinds of analyses, especially in our region, is that you have to make a few “heroic” assumptions from time to time to cater for the quality of data – but that is ok as long as those assumptions are made explicit.

    We did similar work with Satish Chand when he did the ADB Pacific Island Economic Report back in 2001 I think it was – and last year we managed to take a time series look at some data using his base data set. So for example it was interesting to see the Gini coefficient change over time – showing an increase in inequality in the mid nineties and a decrease in the first part of this century.

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