Workshop held on usage of BISP data for policy making, research

Islamabad – The Benazir Income Support Programme on Wednesday held a consultative workshop on usage of the programme data for policy making and research in which leading policy makers and researchers from academia, civil society, federal and provincial governments participated.

Chaired by Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon, the workshop was attended by Secretary BISP Omar Hamid Khan, representatives from Quaid-e-Azam University, Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Planning Commission, Education Department KP, Punjab Social Sector Authority and Alif Ailan. Development partners of BISP such as World Bank and DFID also attended the workshop, said a press release.

On the occasion, Marvi Memon said that the BISP data employed six international standards of a model database including accuracy, validity, reliability, timeliness, relevance and completeness. The workshop would help explore research areas for formulating future policies in various disciplines namely health, education, agriculture and environment.

In a presentation, the participants were briefed that BISP was custodian of different data sets pertaining to National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER), unconditional cash transfers and conditional cash transfers. The BISP holds data of 27 million households across Pakistan, out of which 7.7 million families have been identified to be eligible for financial assistance, while 5.6 million are receiving quarterly stipend, she said.

The participants were also apprised of technological innovations and range of variables adopted in BISP resurvey for NSER update.                They were informed that the BISP had a data-sharing protocol with other organisations and currently more than 45 government and private organisations were utilising the BISP data for various development projects.

The BISP secretary said that the aim was to make 2018 a year of excellence for the BISP. The BISP encourages policy makers and researchers to use the NSER data for designing policies, he said.

During the session, the participants stressed the need of research collaboration between BISP and other organisations, besides conducting seminars on the BISP in different universities which, they said, would create awareness about the contribution of BISP and its different data sets.

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