A useful, if somewhat rough, proxy

Jin akashini

Senior Member
Hi every one,

I would like to ask you the meaning of the red phrase "if somewhat rough, proxy."

I know "If somewhat" means "although a bit", but I do not understand the whole phrase in this context.

"<-----Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->For example, sometimes reliable data on direct measures are not available at a frequency that is useful to managers, and proxy indicators are needed to provide timely insight on progress. Proxy measures are indirect measures that are linked to the result by one or more assumptions. For example, in rural areas of Africa it is often very difficult to measure income levels directly. Measures such as percentage of village households with tin roofs (or radios or bicycles) may be a useful, if somewhat rough, proxy".

The sentence is drawn from a document of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), named "Performance Monitoring and Evaluation". Here is the link, final page.


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  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Whether a house has a tin roof is a rough guide to whether it has a higher income. It's not entirely accurate, but the two usually correspond. They corespond often enough to be useful, anyway. Observing the tin roof can be used as a proxy for measuring the income. It's only a rough proxy, but it's useful: it's a useful, if somewhat rough, proxy.


    New Member
    Interestingly, the word proxy is completely detached and value. Personally, I used to use it in the sense of the proxy server (advanced.name for example), I think everyone knows what it is. At first I was a little more clearly its value, but later I went deep, and read about it.
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