DATA SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
The data used in this report come from a variety of sources, including publications by the bureau of statistics of each country, multilateral institutions, international non-governmental organizations, research organizations and foundations. They are all secondary data, available in the public domain, and most were obtained via the Internet.Other sources were obtained through personal inquires and interviews conducted by the SID research team. The reference section contains full details of the sources used in this report.
THE FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS GUIDED THE CHOICE OF THE SOURCES USED FOR THE DATA
Consistency across sources and time
The State of East Africa 2013 is a follow-up to the State of East Africa 2012 and part of the State of East Africa report series. This report, though different from the previous reports, seeks to examine the trends that have taken place in the context of inequality and equity across time in the region. This report makes a special effort to use the same data sources as those used in the 2012 edition which based most of its sources on the 2006 report. Only data that could be obtained from
the same source across time were used. However, there were some obstacles to overcome. Some data sources had data for all East African Community partner states with the exception of Burundi. At other times, if Burundi data was available it was outdated. Data for foreign direct investment from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has also been inconsistent at times. For example the UNCTAD 2012 report has very different numbers than the UNCTAD 2011 report, specifically in years that should remain the same. The 2009 numbers in Tanzania are different between the UNCTAD 2011 and 2012 reports.
Due to these discrepancies SID felt it was necessary to use the UNCTAD 2013 report and use its numbers for previous years namely 2009-2012.
There were other challenges that hindered some aspects of consistency such as the exports and imports among the EAC partner states sourced by the EAC Secretariat Facts and Figures 2012 report. The SoEAR 2012 used the EAC Facts and Figures 2011 report, in order to update the data the EAC (2012) report was going to be used. However, upon further examination there were discrepancies across time with the export and imports of the years prior to 2011 between the two reports. SID had to make a decision regarding this and decided to use the most recent report available and make changes to the previous years. SID feels that the methodology and integrity of the reports by the EAC, UNCTAD and others are sound. Though this results in a few discrepancies that challenge some data points of the SoEAR 2012, SID believes that using the most recent information available upholds the integrity of the SoEAR 2013.
Comparability across countries
As much as possible, data has been obtained from the same source across countries. This was to ensure that the indicator was being defined, captured and measured in the same way for all countries so that comparisons could be made with a high degree of confidence. However, on the relatively few occasions where national definitions were provided (for poverty lines, inequality or unemployment) this report used those to do cross-country comparisons.
Some challenges SID faced came up when comparing data from the Demographic Health Surveys,which provides good proxies and data for indicators across wealth quintiles. Burundi has only had two DHS surveys done, one in 2010 and the one prior to that was conducted in 1987. As a result it was hard to compare Burundi with other countries using the DHS.
The FOCUS on the ‘big-picture’ trends
Many data and information sources were used in this report. In some cases different sources reported different figures for the same indicator in the same period for the same country. This report focuses on the broader message that these data represent by comparing countries against each other, or analyzing the trends across time that the data reveal.
The research data collection process took place between January and June 2013 in order to maximize on the latest available data. The latest available data have been used, but limitations in data sources mean that the information is not always up to date and sometimes missing. The data are presented in graph and chart format for ease in visualization, comparison and interpretation.It is worth noting that statistics cannot capture the full richness of any community, country or region. In recognition of this limitation, the report provides additional colour, perspective and nuance on the region by including analysis and commentary from academics,columnists and forward-looking researchers.