India-funded Assessment Study in eSwatini successfully completes first phase of data collection

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The Poverty Participatory Assessment project in the Kingdom of eSwatini involves a qualitative study that aims to leverage the perspectives and solutions of the people of eSwatini in the analysis of poverty for strategic national development.

The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the auspices of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

The first Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA) was undertaken in eSwatini in 1997 led by the Government Central Statistics Office. The assessment highlighted widespread poverty in eSwatini and hence the need to develop strategies and action plans designed to address it.  Subsequent PPAs could not be facilitated because of the lack of institutional capacity and tools required to undertake such analyses.

Two decades later, with catalytic funding from the Government of India, the second PPA (2018-19) aims to integrate the principles of South-South and triangular cooperation through knowledge exchange and skills transfer between the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi and eSwatini.

Two retreats have already been organized by the UNDP Poverty Participatory Assessment Project Core Team to review the 1997 PPA tools, the action plan for the PPA project, as well as to review the sampling methodology presented by the Central Statistics Office.

Training workshops have also been conducted for various line ministries and data collection specialists on assessment tools including key informant interviews and focus group discussions.

Most recently, primary data has been collected in the 220 chiefdoms of Hhohho, Manzini, Shiselweni and Lubombo. Four meetings were convened through the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development Regional Administrators’ Office for the Chiefs and their Headmen to inform the traditional leaders of the assessment and request their support in facilitating the participation of the communities in future project activities.

In 2019, as part of the second stage of the project, the Central Statistics Office will procure qualitative data analysis software and train the technical team in software and data analysis with UNDP support. Other activities include: conducting report and policy brief writing workshops, printing and dissemination of the assessment report.

The partnership between the Government of eSwatini and Government of India is based on the South-South cooperation principles of mutual benefit, sovereignty, ownership, equality, non-conditionality and non-interference.

The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) is the Fund Manager and Secretariat of the Board of Directors of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund; supporting and guiding through the overall project cycle.