World Bank tool set to lower data collection costs


In order for Tanzania to acquire a highly equitable and sustainable economic growth incorporation of informed decisions is inevitable, hence, the latter are the new currencies of the 21-century development (particularly in the African landscape) which demand seamless tools to analyze, and yet—the World Bank, has just the set right direction to that.

According to the World Bank, lowering the cost of project monitoring and creation of feedback loops was their key goal, which brought them to interesting creative solutions.

The latter resonates with the high-demands of decision-makers to understand, impacts of their actions, which dictate future plans, thus—calling for feedback loops.

Feedback loops (as called by World Bank) tend to offer a form of incentive triggering an action, as most decision-makers wish to avoid the possibility of their inaction, ruining their future endeavors within data collection and other development angles.

This means that, various development projects executed by the government of Tanzania, including the large construction projects (Stieglers Gorge (Julius Nyerere Dam and Standard Gauge Railway) and other projects streamlined in the Tanzania Development Plan (TDV, 2025), with the clear intention of nurturing industrialization for economic transformation and human development, ought to adopt the feedback tools for better-informed development outcomes.

Therefore, World Bank proposes two pathways that provide timely and actionable information and by functioning as an accountability mechanism. Per the World Bank, SWIFT and IBM are the two tools forged to execute regular feedback affordable.

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Tanzania’s development plans landscape

The fifth Tanzanian government is strictly focused on rejuvenating various investment angles which can prove (and have been proving ) billions necessary for Tanzanian development success.

As the country’s five-year plan indicates plainly that: Tanzania is replete with most of the resources required to achieve its development plans, with assistance from its development partners (including the World Bank).

Tanzania has streamlined its clear intention to develop its human capital via, the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGR), which has elongated into a second phase, with the main focus on: ushering new interventions to enable Tanzania industrialize in a transformative manner to impact the economy and society, mainstreaming nurturing an industrial economy and realizing competitiveness-led export growth.

At present ( the 2019 first quarter), Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is experiencing significant contribution from three sectors: agriculture (26.1 per cent), construction (26.6 per cent) and transportation and storage activities (12.5 per cent), while, African Development Bank (AfDB), point the East African’s economic growth to be at 6.6 per cent and same applies to 2020.

Therefore, a critical assessment of the developmental landscape is yet tantamount to development itself, as it a fundamental approach to the creation of sustainability.

SWIFT tool

The Survey of Well being via Instant and Frequent Tracking (SWIFT), is the tool created specifically to promote a timely, cost-effective, and simple way to monitor the two best goals of the World Bank which are: ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

African nation’s such as Tanzania with Household surveys executed over space and time, covering the entire population,  could benefit from it enormously.

This is because, SWIFT is a cost-effective option to gather welfare information for project beneficiaries, but also—to monitor project contributions.

Patently, countries can implement the latter with only less than $ 100,000 and spending five minutes, SWIFT can execute its functions per household interview, whereby—just for few minutes, data can be processed exhaustively.

Therefore, household budget surveys and other household surveys focusing on fetching out welfare information, stand to improve and even develop further better versions of survey, over time and space, under effective utilization of the tools.

IBM tool

This tool presents quick flows of feedback loops to make projects more effective, whereby—data is gathered rather directly from people via focused interviews with appropriate samples and technology.

The IBM tool is designed to suit fragile and conflict situations, where data collection can be quite a challenge.

Further, the IBM tool survey—is created to be carried out in less than four weeks, while costing less than $5,000, and executed using modern gadgets such as mobile phones or tablets, producing, a coherent and comprehensive report (less than 10 pages) for project staff.

Why the tools matter

According to World Bank, tools such as SWIFT are being used to fill critical data gaps on mobile penetration across income groups by aggregating questions on mobile phone uptake and usage with consumption estimates.

However, the latter—promotes projects to make clear analysis beyond the physical and investment within telecommunications infrastructure to comprehend the access of digital technology and phones vary over socioeconomic groups within Tanzania.

From the latter, Tanzania uses the results for clear-cut evidence-based policy recommendations to enhance access to mobile phone and internet technology for the most impoverished groups of the population in the country, this is through—the digitization of public services, social protection mechanisms, and future regulatory efforts.

World Bank argues that: minor investments and projects can implement quantitative evidence to inform decision-making in ways that were not achievable before, assuring sustainable development outcomes through greater efficiency, agility, and performance.

The tools show that without IBM certain social and agricultural subsides would still go mainly to male heads of households, rather than guided by gender-informed manners.

These two tools prove to be crucial within Tanzania’s development landscape, and yet the big question to ask is whether which tool should Tanzania take-up first and in which kind of project executed over space and time in Tanzania

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Padili Mikomangwa is an environmentalist based in Tanzania. . He is passionate about helping communities be aware of critical issues cutting across, environmental economics and natural resources management. He holds a bachelors degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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