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Data collection methodology and tools for supporting the formulation of evidence-based policies in response to the challenge of population ageing in sub-Saharan Africa

UN Photo/Karoline Schmid

The objective of the project is to develop a standard methodology to produce, analyze and deliver a database of harmonized indicators on the situation of older persons in Africa. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare in Malawi, the University of Malawi and the National Statistical Office, this project is the starting point of a larger UN DESA initiative that aims to assist countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to collect and analyze data on older persons in order to better monitor their changing situation. The project aims to promote the participation of all relevant stakeholders at the national and regional level and to enhance their capacities in the formulation, monitoring and implementation of more inclusive policies that are responsive to the needs and priorities of older persons.

In preparation for the project, age-related data from African countries (Uganda, Kenya and Malawi) was compiled and mapped. The household and individual questionnaires were developed by drawing on already existing survey instruments in other parts of the world and in consultation with national and regional experts, statisticians, civil society, government officials and representatives from UN agencies and other intergovernmental organizations in the region. A series of national and regional workshops and training sessions were also undertaken to review and fine-tune the methodology.

The survey instrument that uses Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) is being piloted in four districts in Malawi and is expected to interview more than 2000 households and persons 60 years of age and older.

First results are expected by early September and will be incorporated into a national report that will be presented to statisticians, policy makers and civil society for their review and comments. The project will conclude with a regional meeting of key stakeholders to consolidate the findings and review the methodology that is expected to be submitted for adoption to the Statistical Commission for Africa.