MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $1 million grant to improve the capacity of Pacific developing member countries in using statistical data for developing economic and social policies and managing their implementation.

"The limitation on quality and types of statistics across the Pacific constrains effective socioeconomic analysis, informed policy making, effective planning, monitoring and reporting," said Anthony Gill, Country Specialist of ADB's Pacific Department. "This impediment needs to be addressed in a sustainable manner through long-term commitment by the region and its development partners."

The Technical Assistance, Support for Results-Based Management in the Pacific, will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will assess the needs of Pacific Island nations to develop statistics that lead to better delivery of economic and social services. Working closely with the Pacific Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Pacific countries, ADB will assess national and regional capabilities for generating economic and social data; develop a strategy to upgrade statistical information databases in the region; and devise a proposal to strengthen preparation of economic statistical information and its implementation in the region. The proposal will then be considered by the Pacific Leaders.

The second phase will support social and economic statistical surveys in selected Pacific developing member countries. The third will support the implementation of the regional solution to strengthen the delivery of economic and social statistical services as identified in the first subproject.

Partnership approaches are a key element of the technical assistance, which allows ADB to work with other Pacific development partners in support of social and economic statistical surveys in selected Pacific developing member countries.

ADB's long-term commitment to strengthening the capability of the Pacific region to develop and utilize economic statistics in a sustainable manner is consistent with ADB's approach to working with weakly performing countries, some of which are in the Pacific.

In general, Pacific developing member countries fall short in generating the data required for results-based management and monitoring of national poverty reduction strategies, national development plans and progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, the blueprint for the world's nations and development institutions in alleviating poverty and improving lives.

Economists and statisticians of Pacific island countries support the increasing demand for better access to meaningful data from the region. There is a perception that the substantial gap is widening between the statistics needed and available data in the Pacific.