More steps underway to produce high quality statistics

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is embarking on a project to strengthen capacity to measure the contribution of international trade in services to the economies of Member States by their trading partners.

The project is to be funded by the European Union under the Tenth European Development Fund (10th EDF).

The general objective of the project is to provide the decision-makers in CARICOM with core, high quality statistics for the establishment and monitoring of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It will be undertaken as more emphasis is being placed on the production of quality statistics in the Region. Just recently, at their 37th Regular Meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, Heads of Government of CARICOM endorsed a Plan of Action for Statistics. The Action Plan was developed by the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (SCCS) and will facilitate the bridging of data gaps in key areas of statistics such as in Trade in Services.

The Plan supports a regional approach to the development of statistics, and, among other things, will enable the upgrading of the Information and Communications Technology infrastructure and provide overall support to human resource development.

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CARICOM Heads of Government endorse Action Plan for Statistics

The Action Plan was piloted by the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell, who has lead responsibility for Science and Technology in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet
The Action Plan was piloted by the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell, who has lead responsibility for Science and Technology in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet

The necessity to underpin any action towards growth, development and empowerment of the peoples of CARICOM with statistically sound evidence has been the consistent rallying cry of statisticians. Regionally, there is an increasing demand for better data to inform decision-making. But that demand has exposed deficiencies in the statistical offices and has prompted undertakings to better equip statistical offices with the tools, human and otherwise, to do the job.

As the Community looks to strengthen its national statistical systems, CARICOM Heads of Government earlier this month endorsed an Action Plan for Statistics that was developed by the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians. Time-frames of between two and seven years have been allocated for various elements of the Plan.

The Plan supports a regional approach to the development of statistics, and, among other things, will enable the upgrading of the Information and Communications Technology infrastructure and provide overall support to human resource development.

The endorsement of the Plan was made during the 37th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government which was convened in Georgetown, Guyana, 4-6 July.

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CDB supports data revolution for Caribbean development

Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB, noted that the Bank is supporting the improved accessibility and use of quality data for decision making. (Photo via CDB)
Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB, noted that the Bank is supporting the improved accessibility and use of quality data for decision making. (Photo via CDB)

April 25, 2016, KINGSTON, Jamaica – National population and housing censuses provide data that could help countries in the Caribbean Region improve decision-making, accountability, and address development challenges such as inequalities in employment, education and wealth. As Caribbean nations answer the call for a global data revolution, they continue to tackle statistical capacity challenges.

On Monday, April 18 representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Borrowing Member Countries began a 10-day workshop in Jamaica to address these challenges, including gaps in countries’ capacity to mine and share census data in a timely and efficient way.

The participants, technocrats from national statistical offices and regional institutions, will receive comprehensive, hands-on training in the core techniques of demographic analysis, data quality evaluation, and population projections. They will learn how to effectively analyse demographic data from censuses, surveys, and administrative records using the United States Census Bureau Demographic Analysis and Population Projections System. At the end of the Workshop, they will have generated estimates of population and key measures of fertility, mortality, and migration as part of the process of learning how to calculate population projections.

There can now be no disagreement that data is key to development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has called for a data revolution to address the need for quality, accessible and timely data. This Workshop, part of a wider statistical capacity-building project funded by CDB, is just one way in which we are supporting the improved accessibility and use of quality data for decision making,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.

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