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Developing Poverty Maps to Improve Policies: The Experience of Ecuador

Tuesday, March 21, 2006
12.30 - 2:00 pm
Room MC6-W150

Sponsors: Thematic Group on Poverty Impact Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation; Latin America and the Caribbean Poverty and Gender Unit
Presenter: Caridad Araujo, YPP


The allocation of resources and the design of   policies tailored to local-level conditions require information disaggregated at the local-level. Data on poverty at the local level is typically not available because most household surveys used for poverty measurement are not representative passed the regional level. To address this and produce poverty data accurate at the local level, the World Bank has developed a statistical inference technique and tools that allow estimation for very small areas, by combining information from censuses and household surveys. The Small Area Estimation (SAE) method allows to compute poverty data at the finely disaggregated level most relevant for policy design.

PRMPR has initiated a work program to document the different types of policies which have been informed by poverty maps and draw lessons on the processes which promote the use of poverty maps. These lessons draw from the experience in 13 countries: Albania, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Ecuador was one of the first countries with availability of two household surveys and two population censuses that allowed building a panel of poverty maps. The first Ecuador poverty map developed in the mid-1990s was one of the earliest experiences in small area estimation of poverty, and one which is frequently cited in the methodological literature on poverty mapping. The second poverty map was constructed almost ten years later. This presentation will focus on the lessons learned from this experience as well as on key challenges - both from a process and a methodological perspective.

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