Demand-Side Challenges to Poverty Monitoring and Assessment Systems: Illustrations from Tanzania
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2011
© The Author 2012. Development Policy Review © 2012 Overseas Development Institute.
Development Policy Review
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 29–48, January 2012
How to Cite
Shaffer, P. (2012), Demand-Side Challenges to Poverty Monitoring and Assessment Systems: Illustrations from Tanzania. Development Policy Review, 30: 29–48. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2012.00558.x
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2011
- first submitted August 2010, final revision accepted April 2011
Over the past decade, considerable attention and resources have been directed at Poverty Monitoring and Assessment Systems (PMASs), a core problem being the limited demand for, and use of, the data they generate. This article discusses the sources of these demand-side problems and explores the difficulties in trying to address them via PMAS-related processes, arguing that both institutional factors and design features have contributed to the disappointing performance of these systems. Incentive structures within the public sector in particular have made for an extremely unfavourable environment, and institutional problems have been compounded by questionable design features resulting from faulty analysis, flawed assumptions and conflicting views as to the objectives of ‘poverty monitoring’. Tanzania's PMAS experience is used to illustrate the argument.