Poverty maps-ward level report launches

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THE Solomon Islands first ever poverty mapping based on the 2012/13 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) and the 2009 Population and Housing Census assessment report will be launched today.

The Minister responsible for the Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) Manasseh Sogavare will launch the report in the presence of government officials, the Government of Australia, World Bank, other development partners, NGO’s, civil society and media representatives, at the Honiara Hotel.

The maps and assessment report were developed in a joint exercise by the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO), the World Bank and the Australian Government through its DFAT’s Aid Programme in Honiara.

This is the first assessment of poverty maps in the country that focusses at ward level poverty estimates which is an important statistical lower geographical indicator for assessing poverty incidence not only at the national and provincial levels but this time at the ward level.

The report provide findings of poverty across the country with latest poverty maps provide disaggregated poverty estimates to better understand the geographical variations in poverty incidence/rate.

The poverty map is an essential planning tool that provides powerful visuals to identify poor areas with greater accuracy.

It is also a powerful way to identify and monitor small areas of particular affluence and poverty across the country.

Government Statistician Douglas Kimi said, “For the first time in our development history, we are able to formally identify small areas or wards below the national and provincial geographical levels to see, first hand, the magnitude and distribution of poverty incidences not seen before across and within the whole province.”

He said that the analysis at ward level is of high quality, innovative and a first of its kind for Solomon Islands. “It is another huge statistical and analytical milestone.”

The detailed maps and ward level poverty estimates in the Solomon Islands are created by combining information, for the first time, from the 2012/13 Solomon Islands Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) with data from the 2009 Solomon Islands Population and Housing Census.

He said the HIES is a valuable source of data as it includes comprehensive questions on households’ consumption and expenditure which was used to estimate poverty rates at the national and provincial level.

“This work goes further and complements the earlier poverty report of 2016 poverty by estimating poverty rates at the ward level and not just the national and provincial levels.”

Kimi said the study focuses on two key poverty measures which include; the headcount poverty rate (the proportion of the population living below the poverty line), and the number of poor.

He said estimates of these measures are derived from each of the 183 wards in the Solomon Islands and maps are drawn to illustrate the results.

“The study also derives and reports small-area estimates of the average level of consumption per adult equivalent, the poverty gap index (the average proportionate shortfall from the poverty line averaged over the whole population), the poverty severity index (where those with the biggest poverty gaps are weighted highest), and the Gini index of inequality in the level of consumption.

“In addition to predicted values for these poverty statistics, measures of precision are also calculated. In this study, the precision of the ward-level estimates from the survey-to-census imputation, is similar to the precision of the survey estimates at the provincial level.

“The results show a wide range in the prevalence of poverty across the Solomon Islands. The estimated ward-level headcount poverty rates range from zero to 59 percent, with the highest poverty rates in southern parts of Guadalcanal and eastern parts of Makira.

“The estimates also reveal a great deal of within-province heterogeneity in poverty rates, which may partly reflect the difficult topography and other barriers limiting the spread of benefits from economic development,” Kimi said.

–SINSO PRESS

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