Global indicators – Which relevance to Mozambique?

In the last Logistics performance Index assessment conducted by the World Bank worldwide, Mozambique gained 63 ranks , propelled to the rank 84 from the rank 147 in 2014. However, this progression appears highly disconnected from the reality operators see on the ground, and was overlooked in the report.

What do global indicators mean for countries like Mozambique? How can Mozambique use them efffectively on the ground, to monitor and manage current operations, and to better anticipate future trends? This and the following questions have sparkled animated discussions at Waza, questioning the design and assessment of indicators, their objective, the target they set, and their use on the short and long runs.

In the specific case of LPI, as reminded by the World Bank representatives we interviewed, the LPI is perception-based. It consists of a qualitative evaluation of a country in six areas by its trading partners – i.e. professionals working outside the country. The six areas are customs & border management, infrastructure, ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments, logistics quality and competence, tracking & tracing, timeliness.

The index is based on a survey among freight forwarding and logistics professionals, and as such the methodology is always subject to differing opinions among the respondents. The global ranking should be interpreted with care. The ranking is relative to other countries, e.g. if other countries improve more than say Mozambique, it may mean that Mozambique will drop in the ranking, even if it improved overall, but just not at the same pace, and vice versa. Changes in the LPI score are more relevant– how they are distributed can be revealed through the scores along the LPI dimensions. Therefore, the results of an individual LPI – in this case the ones for 2016 – should be seen as a guideline within a given confidential interval for a single country. The confidence intervals for Mozambique for 2014 and 2016 are listed below.

The interval of confidence and the mismatch with the perceptions on the ground raise the following discussion for LPIs and more extensively, for global indicators applied to national scales, which we invite you to discuss with the Waza Community:

  • Since there is no National LPI for Mozambique, should we infer that were Mozambican and international companies working in Mozambique interviewed as well?
  • Who actually uses the LPI indicator?
  • Are the LPI indicators are more a picture of the past or do they reflect some prediction for the future in vulnerable countries like Mozambique?
  • How Mozambican policy makers can use global indicators? Is the case of Mozambique isolated?

 

Mozambique’s confidence intervals, 2014 and 2016

  • 2014 scores: lower bound = 1.85, upper bound = 2.61, actual score = 2.23
  • 2016 scores: lower bound = 2.48, upper bound =2.89, actual score = 2.68
  • 2014 ranks: lower bound = 103, upper bound = 159, actual rank = 147
  • 2016 ranks: lower bound = 70, upper bound = 110, actual rank = 84

The 2016 lower bound of Mozambique’s LPI score is lower than the country’s 2014 upper bound, hence despite the large movements in the rank, the change from 2014 to 2016 is not statistically significant.

About H