A Poverty Profile of Cambodia

By Nicholas Prescott; Menno Pradhan | Go to book overview

9. IMPROVING POVERTY ANALYSIS AND
POLICY

Adequacy of the Information Base
Poverty reduction is a central goal of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The policy relevance of the poverty profile for Cambodia based on SESC 1993/94 illustrates the importance of adequate data from large-scale household surveys in analyzing poverty and designing appropriate policies to translate the Government’s commitment to policy reduction into action. These data are essential to help government policymakers to:
identify the regional location, employment, gender and other characteristics of the poor in order to support design of more efficiently targeted poverty alleviation programs;
monitor changes in poverty over time so as to assess the pace and pattern of development progress;
analyze the levels and determinants of access to economic infrastructure and support services, as well as to access to social services and safety nets – many of which are publicly provided or subsidised -- as a guide to improving the effectiveness of policy instruments intended to enhance the welfare of the poor.

The Government has already taken important ad hoc steps towards developing a capacity to collect and analyze poverty-related survey data on a regular basis. The first Socioeconomic Survey of Cambodia 1993/94, which was originally designed to establish the weights for a new consumer price index, has demonstrated the capacity to implement a large-scale income and expenditure survey on a sample of around 5,000 households in 16 provinces. The ongoing second Socioeconomic Survey of Cambodia 1996 has adopted a completely different questionnaire design focusing on welfare indicators in selected areas such as child labor, nutrition status and coverage of child health programs, housing characteristics, land tenancy and credit behavior. This second survey was designed to accommodate the data needs expressed by users in a variety of sectors for which funding could be mobilised. It will be carried out on a larger sample of 9,000 households, with oversampling to give province-level estimates in 8 provinces.

These initial efforts have made an important contribution to capacity building at the National Institute of Statistics and it is important that they should be sustained. Three significant limitations will need to be overcome in future development of the information base on living standards in Cambodia. The first is that neither of the SESC questionnaires implemented to date have been explicitly designed as a fully integrated multipurpose survey of the type needed to conduct a comprehensive poverty assessment for policymakers. For example, while the expenditure data collected by SESC 1993/94

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A Poverty Profile of Cambodia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Foreword v
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • Abstract vii
  • Executive Summary viii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Socio-Economic Survey of Cambodia, 1993–1994 3
  • 3 - Per Capita Consumption, Distribution and Inequality 7
  • 4 - Setting a Poverty Line for Cambodia 15
  • 5 - Poverty Comparisons for Targeting 21
  • 6 - International Poverty Comparisons 33
  • 7 - Comparison with Official Poverty Estimates 35
  • 8 - Characteristics of the Poor 39
  • 9 - Improving Poverty Analysis and Policy 41
  • References 47
  • Annex a - Civil Servants, Poverty and Earnings 49
  • Annex B - Analysis of Gender-Poverty Linkages 53
  • Annex C Poverty Tables 57
  • Annex D Reference Food Bundle 61
  • Annex E Technical Guide for Programmers 71
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