Menna El Shiati, Advisor - Gender and FGM, Community Systems Foundation
Seth Davis, Communications Officer, Community Systems Foundation
In 2017, The League of Arab States (LAS), United Nations Economic and Social Commission (UN ESCWA), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) launched the Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report in a United Nations General Assembly High-Level Side Event.
The report calls for the establishment of an Arab Centre for Poverty Reduction and Social Policy that would have a primary responsibility to increase the “statistical capacity for measuring and monitoring poverty” in the Arab region. 
This centre will also “focus on multidimensional measurement and analytical use of data for decision-making”. According to the report, this will be done “by building an information system to collect and mainstream all available data related to poverty and employment, and formulating regional programs to strengthen institutional capacity to support decision-making.” 
In this regard, LAS took an initial step towards supporting increased regional statistical capacity of its Member States by inviting Community Systems Foundation (CSF) to present at the 38th session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs at the High Officials level in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
This meeting provided CSF with the opportunity to discuss how the Data For All (DFA) toolkit can be leveraged to monitor national and regional progress against the Arab Regional Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
During the High Officials Meeting, Councelor Tarek El Nabulsi, Director of the Development and Social Policies Department and who is responsible for the Coordination and Follow-up Unit of the Cabinet of Assistant Secretary General for Social Affairs in the League of Arab States, stated that, “a proper planning, reporting and monitoring system, such as DFA Monitoring, would provide LAS and its Member States with the tools to create evidence-based and data-driven policies and interventions that aim to reduce the prevalence of multidimensional poverty in the Arab region”.
As the meeting closed, the High Officials and the Arab Ministers of Social Affairs endorsed a partnership between LAS and CSF to develop a monitoring platform for the Arab regional Multidimensional Poverty Alleviation Strategy.
CSF looks forward to supporting LAS and its Member States in monitoring their achievement against Sustainable Development Goal 1 on Ending Poverty in All its Forms Everywhere.
1. ESCWA. Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report. Page. 33. Accessed at: http://www.ophi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ArabMPI-En-1.pdf
2. ESCWA. Arab Multidimensional Poverty Report. Page. 33. Accessed at: http://www.ophi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ArabMPI-En-1.pdf