In recent years, poverty in Moldova has declined in urban areas while it has increased in rural regions. This troubling trend was highlighted in the Second Millennium Development Goals Report for the Republic of Moldova (2010), which attributed much of the cause to climate-related factors negatively affecting agricultural yields over multiple years.1
As a key step towards tackling the issue of rural deprivation, the Republic of Moldova’s Ministry of Economy developed a special composite index to analyze the level of rural community deprivation in Moldova: the Small Area Deprivation Index, or SADI.
The SADI combines data from seven indicator categories - income deprivation, economic deprivation, demographic deprivation, health care deprivation, education deprivation, housing and utility deprivation, and geographic deprivation – and assigns varying weights to each one.
The data used to calculate the SADI are sourced from central and local administrative records, as well as from other official statistical repositories. The Ministry of Economy computes the SADI for 843 local communities scattered across the country and then ranks them in order from lowest (1 = most deprived area) to highest (843 = least deprived area). The SADI data are then entered into the DevInfo Moldova database system, the national database for monitoring country progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and other national development targets.
Additionally, UNICEF Moldova selected one of the rural districts with the lowest SADI values – Leova – as the focus of its UNICEF Equity project, conducted in partnership with two local NGOs. The project seeks to develop a cross-sectoral mechanism for adequately addressing the plight of the country’s most vulnerable children.
One of the extra benefits of putting the SADI data into DevInfo Moldova is the ability not only to identify which districts and communities face the greatest need, but also to identify pockets of deprivation within relatively prosperous districts. According to Elena Laur, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, UNICEF Moldova, “Although some districts may have a lower level of deprivation as compared to other regions, these districts often contain communities which have a relatively high degree of deprivation.”
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Elena Laur, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer, UNICEF Moldova, firstname.lastname@example.org Rodica Nicoara, Deputy Head of Division of Policy Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Moldova, email@example.com.
1 Second Millennium Development Goals Report - Republic of Moldova, Government of the Republic of Moldova, 2010, pp. 18-19,