Rwanda accused of manipulating poverty statistics

Friday, November 6, 2015

While international NGOs such as Human Rights Watch regularly accuse the Rwandan government of oppressing its people, Rwanda is usually praised by the West for its development policies.

But according to information obtained by FRANCE 24 and Belgian university professor Filip Reyntjens, Kigali has brazenly manipulated its latest official report on poverty in the central African country.

The story starts with private organisation Oxford Policy Management (OPM), which regularly provides statistical data on Rwanda’s socio-economic situation. OPM hands over this data to Rwanda, which then publishes it.

Poverty ‘actually rose by six percent’

But in the most recent case – concerning a report entitled “Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey” (EICV4), focusing on the period 2013-14 and published last month – the facts appear to have been altered by the Rwandan government department responsible for publishing official economic statistics.

“This time there was a disagreement between OPM and Rwanda over the methodology used,” one source close to the case – who like most sources who criticise Rwanda asked to remain anonymous – told FRANCE 24.

Source: France24 (link opens in a new window)

poverty alleviation, public policy