The Millennium Development Goals: Beyond Averages
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Development Programme’s International Poverty Centre (IPC-UNDP), in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Brazilian Government’s Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA), organised a workshop to promote evidence-based policy making in the Latin American Countries (LAC). The specific objective of the workshop was to promote the use of disaggregated statistical information to support the policy dialogue to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for all population groups.
The workshop was attended by government officials from nine Latin American countries, mainly Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru, holding leadership positions in national institutes of statistics or in ministries related to the MDGs, by staff members of several UN agencies in countries, and by Stefano Pettinato - representative of UNDP Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, Simone Cecchine - representative of UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and Zulma Sosa - Director of Dirección General de Estadísticas, Encuestas y Censos of Paraguay (DGEE). List of participants.
Activities started with a discussion in conference format of knowledge products in the area of MDGs in LAC that intensively use disaggregated data, including: Equity and Social Indicators System - by Jose Antonio Mejía (IDB), Achieving the MDGs in LAC: Beyond the Averages –by Diana Alarcón (IDB) , The Millennium Development Goals: A Latin American and Caribbean Perspective –by Simone Cecchine (ECLAC), and The Youth and the MDGs in LAC–by Eduardo Zepeda (IPC). Workshop sessions followed a hands-on format with individual computers equipped with relevant data software and with the data system of MDG indicators EQxIS loaded to them. Core sessions were presented by Jose Antonio Mejía, Pavel Luengas, Diana Alarcon and Eduardo Zepeda, including issues such as those covering the use of data systems such as EQxIS and those relevant to the proper interpretation and disaggregation of MDG indicators, and with a series exercises scheduled to be performed by participants. Additionally, the workshop featured two best practices: Guatemala Basic Services: Water, Sanitation and Electricity built on Guatemala’s statistics programme, presented by Claudia Michelle Wagner Herrarte, Sectorial Planification of the Guatemalan Ministry of Education, and The Paraguay Experience in Adapting the DevInfo Technology, presented by Zulma Sosa, Director of DGEE Paraguay.
At the end of three day workshop participants presented the results of their final exercise, in which they applied their own expertise and the techniques covered in the workshop to analyze progress in the MDGs in a country of the region using disaggregated data from the EQxIS system.
Following these presentations Stefano Pettinato, Diana Alarcon and Eduardo Zepeda offered final remarks, insisting on the need to promote disaggregated data analysis to support policy decisions, the need to spread the creation of carefully crafted and documented data systems, the advantages of the EQxIS, i.e. survey based, well documented, user-friendly, homogenised and suitable for cross country comparisons, among others, but also windows for improvement and expansion, i.e. geographical information, ways to display and export tables, access to the underlying data base to researchers, expansion to cover health indicators more comprehensibly. And, finally, participants agreed on the need to carry-on other training workshop in different countries of the region.
Special thanks to Célio Maurício da Silva Júnior and Dimitri Silva for collaborating in the elaboration of workshop exercises and manuals, and to Joanna Arce, Francisco Filho and Yebom Atanze for supporting the participants and carrying on workshop logistical arrangements.