Statisticians must enhance, enable culture of statistics

Dr. Philomen Harrison, Regional Director, Statistics
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Statisticians must enhance and enable a culture that would create a more statistically literate population in the Caribbean Community, Director of Regional Statistics at the CARICOM Secretariat said.

Delivering remarks at the opening of a series of Statistics Meetings in Brades, Montserrat, on 22 October, Dr. Philomen Harrison said a more statistically literate population would be empowered to use statistics in their daily lives and promote its understanding.

The opening ceremony (Photos via Govt Information Service of Montserrat)

She was speaking ahead of the working sessions of the Forty-Third Meeting of the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (43rd SCCS), the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Regional Census Coordinating Committee (29th RCCC) and the Eleventh Meeting of the Regional Statistical Research Seminar.

The meetings were preceded by the Twenty-Third Meeting of the CARICOM Advisory Group on Statistics which works with the SCCS to advance the regional statistical initiatives.

“I would like to emphasise that Statisticians of CARICOM   hold the key to empower the population, to build resilient economies and to facilitate prosperity and a better quality of life. I therefore urge CARICOM Statisticians to continue to be passionate about our work, have respect for the scientific principles  and for the rule of laws under which we operate, as we continue to play the vital role in the development of country, people and the Caribbean Community”, she told the opening ceremony.

Building Resilience in the Caribbean Community is the theme for the series of meetings being held during this week. Statisticians of the region have adopted the theme as the overarching one for  the CARICOM Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS). CARICOM Heads of Government endorsed the RSDS in July this year in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

One of the sessions underway in Montserrat

Dr. Harrison said that the Heads’ endorsement of the RSDS implied the acceptance that Statistics is in fact the gateway  to building resilience and in enabling the achievement of sustainable growth and development. She added that their endorsement also recognised:

  • The need for timely, relevant, high quality and harmonised statistics that must conform to international statistical standards
  • The necessity to modernise and transform the Governance Structures of the National Statistical Offices/Systems including effective institutional arrangements such as the Statistics Legislation,
  • The building of partnerships with key stakeholders including universities, the private sector, other suppliers and users of statistics;

“The high level endorsement also implies a commitment by all statisticians of CARICOM to reinforcing, exploring and implementing greater efficiencies in the way we do our work in statistics…” she pointed out.

She added that there was now need to innovate, explore and use new and non-traditional data sources, experiment and exploit information and communication technology such as CAPI, use of the Cloud Computing.


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