WB, IMF data vital to poor countries’ policy-making


The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has underscored the need by developing countries for access to expert data from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as governments formulate their poverty-reduction policies.

NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said a “one size fits all” approach to poverty reduction hardly works in practice but improving the access of developing countries, especially the least developed ones, to the reservoir of expertise at the World Bank and the IMF can be the key to understanding the contribution of development partners to poverty reduction.

Data may be considered as “public goods and I think that if we can do this for the least developed countries and focus on data generation on these countries, we will be able to advance the poverty reduction goals,” said Balisacan, who is also the country’s economic planning secretary.

In one of the sessions of the World Bank Group-IMF 2014 Spring Meetings held in Washington, D.C. on April 11, Balisacan highlighted the unique ability of multilateral organizations in mobilizing talents and expertise for the generation of global public goods and services.

“In development organizations such as the World Bank, there is a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise in poverty reduction, particularly on what works and what does not in this area,” he said.

“We need to invest in good data because from my perspective as a policy maker, the rates of return are very high and the cost is not so much. The power of data when used properly in advocacy and for reforms cannot be underestimated,” he added.


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