Lies, damned lies and statistics: Poverty reduction Rwandan-style and how the aid community loves it

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Rwanda’s latest survey suggests poverty reduced 6%. A more meaningful comparison using the same data suggests it’s actually increased 6%.

Some time ago, I congratulated the Rwandan government on the progress shown in the latest Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4), particularly in terms of the reduction of poverty and inequality. I’m afraid I now have to withdraw my kudos.

Both President Paul Kagame and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete claimed a substantial progress in poverty reduction, from 44.9% in 2010/11 to 39.1% in 2013/14, a spectacular drop of 6 points. This is indeed what can be found in the survey.

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