ADB, Japan to Assist in Improving Statistics Collection in Myanmar

The technical assistance will improve statistics collection in Myanmar, which will help policymakers to understand the country's economic, social, and environmental conditions, as well as make decisions on economic growth.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The government of Myanmar will use a $1.2 million Technical Assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to strengthen institutional, strategic, and technical capacity for collecting better statistics to chart the country’s development and progress.

“Timely, relevant, and accurate data is essential to understanding where the country is today, and for future evidence-based decision making both within and outside government,” said Kaushal Joshi, Senior Statistician with the Economics and Research Department at ADB. “Statistics help policymakers understand the economic, social, and environmental conditions, make decisions on economic growth, and design efforts to promote poverty reduction.”

The grant will fund strengthening the institutional and legal framework by updating the country’s statistics law, bringing statistics collection up to international standards, and improving collection, compilation and timely dissemination of national data.

Historically, Myanmar has conducted few surveys and censuses and the available data are inadequate and often based on outdated standards. As a consequence, little information exists today on economic and social conditions in the country, or the state of the private sector, and there are also data quality issues which require skills development and staff training.

The grant will assist in compiling quality economic statistics based on international standards, strengthening technical skills of government statisticians, and implementing training of trainers through short and long-term training programs. A training unit will also be established in the Central Statistical Organization to meet basic training needs of the statistics staff.

It is envisioned that the grant will also result in improved dissemination of statistics through the statistical yearbook, which provides a snapshot of the country’s economic, social, and environmental conditions.

The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development is the executing agency for the technical assistance to be implemented over a period of two years until August 2015.

The JFPR was set up by the Government of Japan in 2000. As of 31 December 2012, the cumulative JFPR funds made available totaled about $561.5 million. ADB had approved 154 grant projects ($413.5 million equivalent) and 111 technical assistance projects ($110.6 million equivalent).