By Baba Sillah
The Gambia Bureau of Statistics in collaboration with its development partners recently launched the 2015/2016 integrated household survey preliminary findings at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The survey is one of the two major household surveys alongside Multiple Indicator Cluster Surrey (MICS) that are regularly conducted by the Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS).
Several surveys have been undertaken on household income and expenditure but the first and second IHSs were conducted in 2003/2004 and 2010/2011, respectively, while the third round was conducted in 2015/2016. The results of the survey have been the key input in the measurement of poverty at the national level as well as providing valuable information in the evaluation of changing conditions in households.
These surveys have provided government and all stakeholders with indicators mostly on poverty and vulnerability to enable evidence-based policy formulation and monitor the progress towards national and international development frameworks.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, the Statistician General, Nyakassi MB Sanyang said the survey is timely as the country is on the verge of completing the midterm national development blueprint that will guide the government and its development partners.
According to him, the survey covered thirteen thousand households and has covered all aspects such as poverty, sanitary, education among other areas noting that it was conducted by highly qualified personnel.
Mr Sanyang called for collaboration with all stakeholders to implement the survey in their development agenda while commending the Ministry of Finance for financial support.
For her part , the UNDP resident representative, Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje highlighted the importance of the survey.
She stated that the findings will not only be important for the new government to set targets but will also provide solid baseline information to measure future progress.
Madam Lekoetje who is also the UN resident coordinator is hopeful that the findings of the survey will contribute immensely to the core agenda of the new government and will enhance planning, programming, budgeting and targeting of public interventions for a more inclusive and participatory development of the country thereby contributing to economic growth, poverty eradication and prosperity of everyone.
She assured her office’s commitment and willingness to continue supporting national statistical system and strategies in the country with other partners.