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Ethiopia launches open data on agriculture,
socioeconomic wellbeing

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia, with the support from the World Bank (WB) Group has launched open data on agriculture and socioeconomic wellbeing.

In a continuing effort to improve data quality and accessibility, the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) on Wednesday publicly released data from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) , said WB statement on Thursday.

The ESS is a nationally representative, household survey with information on agricultural practices and socioeconomic wellbeing of households.

The launch event is a culmination of several years of collaboration between CSA and the Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) team of the World Bank Group, said the statement.

As part of a global move by WB Group to further support open- data initiatives, the data will be available online immediately after the launch, it said.

"These data can be used both directly by the government to help inform policy makers, and by local researchers and analysts to better inform policy dialogue," said Biratu Yigezu, Director General of the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia.

Guang Zhe Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, said, "The public release of the information will allow for greater use and analysis of the data and ultimately help to strengthen the foundation for the development of evidence-based policies."

The Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) collects detailed information on agricultural practices and labor activities; multiple dimensions of wellbeing, including health, wealth, and education; as well as data on food consumption and food security, according to the statement.

The first wave of data was collected in 2011/12 from about 4, 000 households in rural and small town. These same households were re-interviewed in 2013/14, along with an additional 1,500 households in urban areas, recalled the statement.

"Because the survey is designed to follow the same households over time, we are better able to learn what factors, policies, and programs help people to improve their productivity and wellbeing," said Amare Legesse, Deputy Director General of the Central Statistical Agency.

The next wave of data collection is scheduled for 2015/16, revealed the statement.

The objective of the LSMS-ISA project, partially financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is to improve the quality of data and of data collection methods, while also increasing the supply of multi-topic, panel household survey data that is publicly available to researchers and policy makers, noted the statement.

In addition to Ethiopia, the World Bank Group implements similar programs in Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, according to the statement. 



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