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Clinic on Indicators for the Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia Country Teams (January 11, 2001)

A one-and-a-half-hour clinic on Indicators for PRSPs was held on January 11, 2001 in Washington, DC for the country teams of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. About 20 people attended in Washington and another 15 in the field - staff in the Armenia Field Office (with colleagues from UNDP) linked up by videoconference, and staff from the Georgia Field Office linked up by audio-conference; the Azerbaijan Field Office was not connected due to technical problems. Armenia and Georgia have recently completed I-PRSP (the Georgia one was discussed at the Bank Board that afternoon).

The clinic focused on the development of indicators for the PRSPs and the indicators suggested by the country teams. This site contains the agenda, key messages, and key lessons that emerged from this clinic. For more information, see related Workshop on Performance Indicators: Implications for PRSPs, Washington, DC, held on September 20, 2000.


9:00 – 9:30Introduction (Peter Nicholas, Country Coordinator) 
Presenter: G. Prennushi (PRMPO)
9:30 – 10:30Discussion

Key Messages

  • The process of selecting indicators has to be owned by the country; World Bank teams can advise but should not be choosing indicators.
  • PRSPs should contain some indicators related to the key goals of the poverty reduction strategy; these should be few in number, relevant, and as much as possible reflect what is really important in terms of improving living standards and reducing poverty in the country. Thinking about sectoral goals and indicators is important but should not be the only process. Overall indicators may be composite index (as suggested by the UNDP staff in Armenia), but in this case the separate elements of the index should also be presented, so as to be able to understand what causes changes in the index.
  • Alongside tracking some key outcome indicators, at both the overall and the sectoral levels, it is important to track key indicators of inputs and outputs of public expenditures and actions, because without these it is not possible to understand what caused changes in outcome indicators. So key questions to ask are: are there reliable and timely data on actual public expenditures, disaggregated in useful ways (functionally, economically, geographically)? Are there reliable and timely data on what is achieved with these expenditures (the outputs produced)? Activity-Based Costing provides tools to relate inputs to outputs.
  • Many important outcome indicators are not available on a yearly basis, do not change rapidly over time, and/or changes are small relative to measurement error and cannot be assessed with confidence. Hence, a useful tool for short-term monitoring are user satisfaction surveys, where beneficiaries are asked questions on their access to, use of, and satisfaction with public services. These have been used in several countries and their use in the Caucasus countries might be explored.
  • Disaggregating indicators by income/consumption level (by quintile, for example) is useful to see whether there are significant differences across income groups and whether programs need to be targeted specifically to the poor. It appears that there are data available in the Caucasus countries to construct disaggregated indicators (both LSMS-type integrated surveys and Demographic and Health Surveys have been used in various countries to construct indicators by quintiles.)

Key Lessons Learned

  • There were tensions in the group; it might have been productive to allow for space to express these tensions rather than have them simmer in the background. 
  • There was a tendency to discuss specific sectoral issues; with people from different sectors, however, we tried to focus on overall goals and indicators and general issues (such as input/output/outcome; public expenditure tracking).
  • As noted in other cases, clinics for more than one country team can only go so far; support on country-specific issues would probably be needed. Also, it is not easy to brainstorm on several countries at once, so with a diverse audience (also partly in the field) it may be better to have longer, more structured presentations and invite the teams to discuss implications for each country separately.
  • There is a demand from teams to hear about cross-country comparative experiences in developing PRSPs, and we should bring more examples.


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