The Effectiveness of International Development Assistance Toward Statistical Capacity Building
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper evaluates the possible effect of such foreign aid on statistical capacity. Has international development assistance specified for enhancing the creation and use of statistics in developing countries improved their capacity to generate data and statistics according to international standards? By restricting international development assistance to the amounts that were given specifically for statistical capacity building purposes, this question digs deeper into a fundamental capacity—the ability to generate data and statistics—that would influence both economic development policies and social development programs.
The empirical analysis conducted in this paper is based on a regression model with panel data on 135 countries, using the Statistical Capacity Indicator scores from the World Bank as its dependent variable, and aid disbursement amounts from the “Partner Report on Support to Statistics (PRESS)” published by the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21stCentury (PARIS21) as its main independent variable. In order to investigate the possible effects of country ownership on statistical capacity building, the status of each countries’ National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) is also included in the analysis as a mediating variable. The type of development assistance given is also a factor that is considered through inclusion as a moderating variable. Country specific characteristics that may have influenced the relationship between development assistance and statistical capacity, such as political type, corruption levels, GDP per capita, income group categorization, and net aid levels, are controlled for.
Previous research on statistical capacities of developing countries were limited in scope and generalizability because they were mostly case studies specific to individual countries. The analysis in this paper aims to extend the existing research with quantitative analysis that explores the possible effects of international development assistance as a driving force for the variance and change in statistical capacities across countries. The findings are expected to contribute toward a better understanding of statistical capacity building. As the initial requirement for data use in policy-making, a better understanding of statistical capacity building would then be linked to better policy analysis and evaluation practices in developing countries. It will also help in shaping future development assistance structures toward statistical capacity building.