Caucasian Regional Studies

Caucasian Regional Studies
The International Association For Caucasian Regional Studies
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Caucasian Regional Studies, Vol. 3, Issue 1, 1998

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME


WORKSHOP ON SOCIAL INDICATORS

On November 13-14, the UNDP, in cooperation with the World Bank and the Armenian Government organized and sponsored a Workshop on Social Indicators in Yerevan, Armenia.

Representatives of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank experts on social issues, officials from the Armenian government, chairpersons of standing commissions of the Armenian National Assembly, specialists, scientists and representatives of the international and local NGO community were among the invited guests and participants.

To achieve its objective - elaboration of poverty strategies, the Workshop fulfilled the following concrete goals; i) presented the results of surveys conducted by the Department of Statistics, including the World Bank-sponsored 5000 Households Living Standard Survey; ii) introduced the improvements in the family vulnerability system PAROS for the distribution of family allowances, iii) familiarized the audience with international experience; iv) generated discussions to analyze and select the main social indicators for the design of social policies.

Findings and recommendations, generated during working group discussions that followed presentations and reports emphasized the importance of conducting a census, enhancing inter-department cooperation, the urgency for specific studies, and in-depth customized, on-demand surveys, determining the poverty threshold, considering indicators that characterize the psychological dimensions of our life and tackling the increasing polarization of the society. Economic growth along with employment creation was stated as pivotal for poverty reduction.

It was suggested that new tactics and strategies be developed for next surveys, expedite the adoption of the official poverty line, consumption and food baskets, create independent expert teams to work on regular basis, improve statistics and disseminate the results of surveys, provided their high quality and reliability.

The participants highlighted the necessity for creating a Databank under the UNDP auspices to incorporate the description and results of all surveys conducted in Armenia, viewing the UNDP as an unbiased and valuable partner in coordination and cooperation.


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