MAPUTO, The World Bank has approved a grant of 62 million US dollars for Mozambique to develop higher quality statistics in order to improve the production and dissemination of socio-economic data, as well as support the use of data in evidence-based policy-making.

According to a media statement from the World Bank, Mozambique’s high economic growth patterns of the past decades have not been successfully translated into equally strong poverty reduction”.

The Bank added that Mozambique’s performance in poverty reduction has been uneven across the country’s regions. To design economic policies that adequately tackle poverty and address regional disparities, timely and reliable data are crucial.

Welcoming the decision, the Bank’s representative in Mozambique, Mark Lundell, said Monday: The use of data for development planning and decision-making cannot be over-emphasised. We want to strengthen the foundations of a virtuous cycle that ranges from producing more, better, and accessible statistics; more regular use of staistics in policy-making; to a stronger commitment to accountability and transparency by the government.”

The World Bank argues that few national agencies produce comprehensive spatially dis-aggregated data. There is little awareness about the strategic use of cross-sectoral spatial analysis for evidence-based planning and decision-making. Data sets are dispersed across ministries and agencies, and there is a lack of an integrated strategic data approach across government agencies, it added.

The Bank also states that an effective integration of all aid flows into the national planning and budgeting process is needed.

The project will strengthen Mozambique’s National Statistics Institute (INE) improve data collection, analysis, and dissemination; augment spatial development planning; and supplement aid data management.

According to the project’s team leader, Javier Baez, by contributing to improved transparency of data, statistics, and aid flows, this project supports greater accountability in the use of public funds and ultimately benefits the wider public.

The project is part of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Framework (CPF) with Mozambique for the 2017-2021 period, which will involve total funding of about 1.7 billion US dollars. The CPF focuses on a set of objectives reflecting the Mozambican government’s five-year programme; development priorities identified by the World Bank; and the World Bank group’s own comparative advantages.