On June 1, 2010, the World Bank approved a Statistical Strengthening Loan for India of US$107 million. This loan supports institutional and policy based reform by the Government of India to strengthen state statistical systems within a national policy framework. This project was developed to enable States and Union Territories of India to progress towards common national standards for key statistical activities and improve the credibility, timeliness and accuracy of statistics at both central and state levels.

One of the World Bank’s main priorities is to help countries develop National Strategies for the Development of Statistics as well as helping countries invest in statistical capacity improvement and helping mobilize the expertise of the international statistical system. The Bank has been working with India for over a decade on statistical reforms and the India Statistical Strengthening Loan is the result of detailed analytical work and a rigorous consultative process that the Bank supported in identifying a core area of intervention. 

This loan is the first Bank-wide Development Policy Loan in statistics and is innovative in several aspects:

  • it supports an institutional and policy based framework for a centrally sponsored scheme, i.e. voluntary participation of states and provision of financial resources from center to states on a grant basis;
  • it allows states to design, prioritize and implement their own statistical reform strategies within the national policy in statistics;
  • it provides adequate space and flexibility for states to adapt to the institutional framework; and
  • it establishes performance linked criteria for central government transfer of resources to states. 

India has been a leader in the use and collection of statistics including the designing and implementation of large scale surveys. Through this operation, India adds a new dimension globally on sub-national statistical reforms.

The World Bank’s work to improve statistical capacity focuses on helping countries and the international community to better monitor Poverty Reduction Strategies and Millennium Development Goals, and enhance the Results Measurement System agreed for the 14th replenishment of the International Development Association. The overarching strategy is guided by a global action plan (commonly referred to as the Marrakech Action Plan for Statistics (MAPS) to improve national and international statistics. We provide financial and advisory services, in addition to tools to help our clients develop better statistical systems.

The Loan signing ceremony took place in New Delhi on July 9, 2010

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