Opening of the Seminar
Suitable arrangements will be made in due course.
2. Election of officers
The Seminar will elect one chairperson, one
vice-chairperson and a rapporteur.
3. Adoption of the
The Seminar will consider the provisional
agenda prepared by the ESCAP secretariat and
adopt it with any changes considered necessary.
4. Review of poverty
concepts and measurements.
The review will provide a survey of the concepts
and principal approaches to measuring the incidence
and distribution of poverty, highlighting recent
developments methodological issues relating
to poverty estimation. There will be two
background papers, one prepared by ECLAC and
the other by the ESCAP secretariat. While
the ECLAC paper is intended to give an overall
view of the state-of-the-art in poverty concepts
and measurement in developed and developing
countries world-wide, the ESCAP paper will specifically
focus on the situation in the Asia and Pacific
region. In addition, FAO will contribute
two papers, one on estimating malnutrition,
and the other on poverty indicators.
5. Poverty measurements
in the context of policy, plan and programme
formulation at the national and sub-national
levels in ESCAP region.
The object of discussion under this agenda
item will be to ascertain the extent to which
current practices of poverty measurement meet
the needs of policy and plan formulation at
the national and sub-national levels.
Particular attention will be paid to poverty
analysis and policy formulation from the perspectives
of data-users. Discussions will focus
on the identification of the poor based not
only on income and consumption levels but also
on other factors such as labour market variables,
access to education and health services, and
so on, which are useful to deciding on the types
of intervention best suited to the problems
of different groups of poor people.
Background documentation will include country
papers prepared by invited participants; a paper
prepared by the ESCAP secretariat on the conceptual
and methodological issues in the measurement
of poverty and data needs for poverty alleviation;
and a World Bank paper on purchasing power parities.
6. Data requirements
for formulating poverty alleviation programmes
and for monitoring their implementation
This session will attempt to identify gaps
in national poverty data bases by examining:
- the nature of data required
for comprehensive analysis of the incidence,
distribution, causes and correlates of poverty,
as well as for the formulation, implementation
and monitoring of appropriate poverty alleviation
strategies and programmes; and
- availability of relevant
data in countries of the ESCAP region.
Background documentation will include among
others country papers prepared by participants.
statistics on poverty
There is great diversity among ESCAP countries
in regard to the availability of poverty-related
statistics. In many of these countries,
poverty measurements have largely relied on
data from commonly available sources such as
censuses and sample surveys often designed and
conducted for other purposes. This has
tended to restrict the selection of variables
needed for defining poor households, and has
also inhibited the development of statistics
and indicators relevant to understanding the
socioeconomic dimensions of poverty. Moreover,
countries have not attempted to tap other potential
sources to obtain additional data needed for
poverty analysis and policy assessment.
Where relevant data are not available or are
inadequate, use of unconventional methods or
indirect techniques may be necessary to prepare
estimates of poverty incidence urgently required
for purposes of policy/plan formulation.
Discussions will focus on ways and means of
strengthening the national poverty databases
through expanding the scope and contents of
existing sources, tapping new sources, and promoting
greater interaction between data users and data
While disaggregated data are considered important
for poverty analysis, there is a need to conduct
a realistic cost/benefit analysis of producing
such data. The Seminar will also discuss
these related issues.
Background documentation will include two
secretariat papers, one on sources of poverty
data: strengths and limitation, and the other
on improvement of Household Income and Expenditure
Surveys for collecting comprehensive data for
poverty measurement; paper prepared by SIAP
on strengthening national poverty databases;
and country reports prepared by participants.
Based on its deliberations, the Seminar will
make suitable recommendations in respect of
the various aspects covered in agenda items
4, 5, 6 and 7.
9. Adoption of the