06/25/2022

Ehsaas Registry For Survey Of ‘34 Million Households’ Across Pakistan Released Online

April 14, 2022 – Anonymised data from the registry for the socio-economic survey of “34 million households” across Pakistan under Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s flagship poverty alleviation scheme Ehsaas has been released online, Ehsaas founder and Senator Dr Sania Nishtar announced on Wednesday.

Dr Nishtar has called the Ehsaas Survey South Asia’s “first digital, door-to-door survey”. 

“Our [former PTI] government achieved the historical landmark of completing the Ehsaas Survey for 34 million households,” tweeted Dr Nishtar. “This is South Asia’s first digital door-to-door ‘census-like’ survey, with multiple digital safeguards to hedge against abuse.”

According to Dr Nishtar, the registry enabled the government to effectively target the programme’s benefits and subsidies.

The data is collected through a doorstep survey of 34 million households across Pakistan, covering demographic, socio-economic, education, health and asset profiling, and is aimed to “provide a full spectrum of household level status of poverty and well-being across the country.” Dr. Nishtar termed the anonymised data, now publicly available, “a gold mine for researchers and globally, a stellar example of #DataDemocratisation.”

According to this data, Sindh has the highest number of people (31 percent) who reported themselves as part of the workforce aged between 14 and 60 years, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the lowest (21 percent). Around 84 percent households across Pakistan reported access to electricity. In Punjab, 92 percent of households have access to electricity but in Azad Jammu and Kashmir only 46 percent reported the facility. In Gilgit-Baltistan, 92 percent of households reported access to clean drinking water. In Sindh, however, only 59 percent reported it.

Dr Nishtar was a Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to former Prime Minister Imran Khan. 

The Ehsaas project was launched in March 2019. Over the next three years, 98 percent of its budget covering various schemes benefited girls and women, according to a statement made by Dr Nishtar in March 2022. Imran Khan said that the main focus of the programme was on women since they manage the household. He stressed the need for empowering women so they could educate themselves and their children as well. 

The Ehsaas programme also aimed to help students with their education and bring down the rate of school drop-outs by providing stipends and scholarships. In March, Khan raised the Kafaalat stipend from Rs12,000 to Rs14,000 for eight million families across the country. Interest-free loans, subsidy on food items are also among the main features of the Ehsaas programme. 

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