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Development Account Projects

Strengthening capacity of national policy analysts in the social and economic sectors of developing countries in the production and use of National Transfer Accounts

Background:

Demographic trends, particularly changing population age structures, have a number of important consequences for socio-economic development and for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals. However, the capacity of governments, policy-makers and analysts in national statistical offices, ministries in the economic and social sectors and research institutions of many developing countries to undertake policy analysis in this area is hampered by two main factors: (a) lack of data on labour and asset income, public and private transfers, and consumption disaggregated by age, and (b) lack of a methodological framework and the tools needed to estimate those distributions by age and to analyse the socio-economic implications of changing age structures with the correspondingly disaggregated information.

This Development Account project will allow for the preparation of a manual providing the definitions and standards of the NTA framework, guidelines for its implementation and worked examples based on a systematic collection and presentation of existing methodologies and best practices. The manual will be published, in English, by the Population Division of DESA. If funding is obtained for a follow-up, second phase of this project in the future, the manual would be translated into other languages. The manual will be complemented by the convening of a meeting of experts to discuss the contents and structure of the manual and will carry out an international training workshop in coordination with other training activities under the existing NTA Research Network in order to build synergies between the two.

This project will further the implementation of DESA's Strategic Framework for the period 2010-2011, in particular its subprogrammes 6 (Population) and 5 (Statistics), because it will contribute to strengthen national capacities in the use of demographic and economic statistics for the analysis of the implications of population ageing in terms of national transfer accounts by age, which are based on the principles of national accounts. The results will inform policy analysis in the economic and social sectors

The project is also related to ECLAC's Strategic Framework subprogramme 4 (Social Development and Equity), 6 (Population and Development), and 10 (Statistics and Economic projections), ESCAP's Strategic Framework subprogramme 6 (Social Development) and 7 (Statistics); and to ESCWA's Strategic Framework subprogramme 2 (Integrated Social Policies) and 5 (Statistics).

The project is consistent with the guidance provided by the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development, contained in A/RES/62/208, section III, especially in reference to national capacity-building activities.

Objective:

The objective of the project is to improve national capacity of government officials and country analysts in the economic and social sectors to produce and use age-distributed statistics of the national accounts based on the National Transfer Accounts framework that will allow for improved policy analysis, especially regarding the economic and social consequences of the changing population age structures.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Improved availability and quality of distributional statistics and databases based on National Transfer Accounts framework in at least six developing countries in Asia and Latin America
  • Improved capacity of national demographers, economists, and statisticians in these countries to develop and use information from National Transfer Accounts statistics, fiscal and demographic data for policy analysis, including on the internationally agreed development goals.

Implementation status:

During the second year of the project implementation, the following activities and outputs have been completed: (a) “Workshop on National Transfer Accounts: An introduction” held in Amman, Jordan, 23-26 July 2012, which provided training to 8 trainees from two beneficiary countries, Jordan and Palestine; (b) Inter-regional training workshop “Measuring and Analyzing the generational economy with National Transfer Accounts”, Bangkok, Thailand, 17-20 September 2012, which was attended by 15 trainees from the 6 beneficiary countries (China, Thailand, Jordan, Palestine, Argentina and El Salvador), plus three additional self-financed trainees from Egypt, Turkey and the Republic of Korea; and (c) Completion of the NTA manual manuscript, including all chapters and appendices; (d) Follow-up of the partner regional commissions with the work of beneficiary countries and planning of the publication and dissemination of the NTA manual. The project implementation experienced a moderate delay with respect to the original work programme, but is on track to complete all project activities and outputs by June 2013.