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World Bank project to improve regional data collection with 2 million to Tonga

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 14/02/2020

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$2 million each for Tonga and Kiribati to act as ‘pilot’ countries to help demonstrate improvements in regional data collection in coming years. Closing data gaps in the Pacific is a priority for the World Bank, particularly as a lack of quality data hinders efforts to track progress on gender inequality and the design of policies that could address the gender gap in the region.

The data collected through the project will help inform the monitoring of national outcomes in the Tonga Strategic Development Framework and the Kiribati 20-year Vision (2016-2036). Both countries are already experiencing the extreme impacts of climate change and capturing climate data as it relates to socio-economic indicators is an important focus for the National Statistics Offices.

The lack of quality data – particularly from some of the region’s most remote locations – remains a critical roadblock to the region’s understanding of poverty, welfare and social developments. Addressing data deficiencies has the potential to drive better policy development and lasting change.

The Statistics for Development Division of the Pacific Community will work with the National Statistics Offices in Tonga and Kiribati to modernize their data collection processes aiming to improve the comparability, accessibility and sustainability of statistics across the region.

The World Bank works in partnership with 12 countries across the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea, supporting 77 projects totaling $1.73 billion in commitments in sectors including agriculture, aviation and transport, climate resilience and adaptation, economic policy, education and employment, energy, fisheries, health, rural development, telecommunications and tourism.

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