Friday, December 7, 2007

Update from The Americas and The Caribbean

Marcela Masnatta from the Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office sent an update on how the Study is progressing in the Americas and the Caribbean.

Brazil. In order to carry out the Study they decided to partner with IPEA team (Institute of Planning and Applied Economics), who have carried out all the poverty and income inequality studies in the country. In May, they had a couple of meetings with Ricardo Paes de Barros, the team leader, renowned at an international level. He agreed to produce TORs, following the guidelines of the Global Study, last August.

Bolivia. The work was done with a national counterpart, the UDAPE (Social and Economic Policy Analysis Unit) a section of the Development Planning Ministry. With UNICEF's support, UDAPE has hired two consultants to work on the template uploading. Because they do not have yet received the completed statistical templates for the Bolivian case, they resorted to home survey databases covering 1996-2006 developed by INE. Having poverty as a central subject, consultants will draw up the corresponding tables based on i) the national definition of domestic poverty line and ii) the international definition with 1 and 2 US$ PPP.

Nicaragua. They made an agreement with the INIDE (National Statistics Institute) that will be the counterpart for the study. They have assigned functions to a UNICEFconsultant working at that institution so that he will coordinate the operativity of the Study. Terms of reference for the study were drafted (as a global product), aside from two TORs for hiring two people: an information processor (to be hired the first week of december) and someone to support the analysis of information once it has been processed (beginning of february). INIDE has worked during the past 2 weeks on child related indicators, based on the Quality of life measurement survey and the Endes, the latter still unpublished. This process was incorporated to INIDE's AWP 2008 and an additional product will develop an information system for children and adolescents. As major limitations, it is worth mentioning the delay suffered by negotiations with SETEC (presidential technical secretariat) which, finally will not participate in the study due to its restructuring. They have had limitations within INIDE too, which is working almost exclusively on two products requested by the presidency.

Guyana. The office is in the process of getting government agreement to go ahead with the study. The responsible Minister is hesitant to give it without consulting Cabinet. The Rep had meetings with the Office of the President and with the Minister of Human Services. Also,Guyana office discussed the study with the University of Guyana's Research Department and they agreed to be part of a steering committee, but the government response is needed to start the process. So the Office is actively trying to reach such agreement.

Mexico. A large part of the office time has been dedicated to planning and programming activities (completing the CPD, working on UNDAF preparation and now CPAP) and they haven't had a public policy official throughout the whole year. However, they are committed to have done the TORs for the academic team in charge of the study at the beginning of next year.