Ehsaas Portal `Data4Pakistan’ provides valuable resource for policy makers

Published in The Nation on March 10, 2020

Ehsaas District Development Portal “Data4Pakistan” developed in collaboration with World Bank will prove as a valuable resource for federal, provincial and district level policy makers for decision making.

According to an official source, Data4Pakistan, the first initiative of its kind in the country, provides open and public access to a spatial interactive portal that has poverty estimates for every district in Pakistan, along with over 120 development and policy indicators.

The portal currently has six rounds of district poverty and development data, covering the period 2004-2018.

The Data4Pakistan Portal, as a part of Ehsaas strategy, will be hosted on the Ehsaas website of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division: pass.gov.pk.

Interactive maps will allow the user to visualize and compare districts on poverty and two additional indicators.

Mousing over a district provides information on the selected indicators as a pop-up message while the user can also select a subset of provinces or a subset of districts to focus on, using a simple drop-down list. Custom maps built by the user can be downloaded and printed.

The innovative portal uses data produced by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, as part of its Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Surveys (PSLM) as well as the Multiple Indicators Cluster Surveys (MICS) produced by the provincial Bureaus of Statistics, the official source revealed.

The indicators currently available in the portal, include a range of demographic, health, education and employment statistics as well as access to key services like water, sanitation, electricity and gas. It also provides a number of gender parity indices at the district level.

An ‘Additional Resources’ section on the website provides information on the indicators included in the portal and other background material and reports. New material as well as new data and indicators will be added frequently.

Ehsaas is about the creation of a ‘welfare state’ by countering elite capture and leveraging 21st century tools such as using data and technology to create precision safety nets and promoting social welfare and poverty alleviation solutions.

The opening of Data4Pakistan portal is another important step of the government to foster evidence-based decision making, the source added.

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