By most measures, the country of Jordan is faring well. The 2010 Human Development Report categorized it in the list of “high human development” countries. A recent study issued by the country’s Economic and Social Council declared that in 2008, the middle class comprised 41 percent of the country’s population.1
The nation’s overall bright progress, however, tends to mask the reality that many Jordanians still continue to face various development challenges. Recognizing this fact, the Jordan Department of Statistics (DOS) and Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC) have developed a new tool to help the government monitor and improve the well-being of all its citizens: the new Living Standards Index.
The Living Standards Index (LSI) was conceived as a new approach to quantify a multi-dimensional assessment of poverty for Jordan’s citizens. Starting with data collected from the Household Expenditure and Income Survey conducted every two years by the DOS, the LSI also factors in data on education, health, housing, neighborhood services, economic status, and social and personal security.
Different weights are assigned to the various LSI data components, resulting in a composite index that gives policy makers a more comprehensive picture of poverty and well-being.
Officials at DOS and MOPIC clearly recognized the importance of making the LSI data readily available to decision makers at all levels. With UNDP support, they selected the DevInfo software as the platform to disseminate the LSI data, building on recent successful DevInfo implementation efforts in other sectors.
“The goal of the LSI database is to highlight the needs of the poor and to safeguard the standards of Jordan’s middle class,” explained Mohammad Assaf, Director of Population and Social Statistics Directorate, DOS.
The LSI database once again confirms Jordan’s commitment to improving and sustaining human development for all.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Mohammad Assaf, Director of Population and Social Statistics Directorate, DOS, email@example.com Majida Alassaf, Poverty Analyst, UNDP Amman, atMajida.firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Laila Azzeh, “Middle class constitutes 41% of households – study,” The Jordan Times, 5 January 2011,http://www.jordantimes.com/index.php?news=32382