Poverty and inequality in Lesotho

Type Book
Title Poverty and inequality in Lesotho
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
Publisher University of Natal. School of development studies
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=
Understanding the extent and nature of poverty in a country or a region, and
subsequent development of policy interventions relies upon the type of data
that is available. In some cases use must be made of sample surveys from a
variety of sources, while in others, donor agencies play an important role.
However, increasingly national statistical agencies are being called upon to
provide high quality data on a regular basis. Lesotho is fortunate in that there
has been a long history of data collection both by government agencies as
well as by NGO’s and the private sector. However, resource and other
constraints have resulted in these data being under-utilised, and there is little
recent information on the levels and distribution of poverty in Lesotho.
Through the preparations for Lesotho’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP) it has been possible to bring together data series concerning income
and expenditure collected by the Bureau of Statistics, the source of all official
statistics on Lesotho. Although somewhat dated, important advantages of
these studies have been their use of an accepted and common sample frame,
the rigorous approach that used the diary methodology for the collection of
expenditure data, the consistent questionnaire design and finally, the
relatively large sample size. A range of technical and logistical problems have
had to be overcome, and new methodologies used in order to improve both
the quality and compatibility of the data. These new data now give a more
complete picture of poverty and inequality in Lesotho than has been possible
in the past, and form a critical component of Government of Lesotho’s (GOL)
poverty reduction programme.

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