ASG Drayton lauds increasing interest in data

File Photo| Assistant Secretary-General for the Directorate of Human and Social Development, Ms. Alison Drayton

(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) – CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General (ASG), Ms. Alison Drayton, is buoyed by the keen interest Ministers of Health, Education and Security are showing in data.

Data, Ms. Drayton said, is a critical metric to help governments examine the causes of issues, formulate solutions, and monitor whether those solutions are being applied in a way that makes a difference.

Three months into her tenure at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Drayton – who is the ASG for the Directorate of Human and Social Development (HSD) – sat down for an interview with Tusankine English-Francis of the CARICOM Secretariat’s Communications Unit and reflected on the successful hosting of three CARICOM Council Meetings held recently.

These are, the 43rd Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (Health) in Washington D.C, in September; the 24th Meeting of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) in October and the 44th Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) Education also in October.

While noting the opportune timing of her appointment which allowed her to engage with the Councils that provide strategic direction for the work of the HSD Directorate, Ms. Drayton lauded the “months and months of hard work” by the staff of the Directorate to organise the meetings.

Speaking about what stood out for her about the meetings she said:

“Historically the Region has not been putting a weight on data, but there has been a shift.”

Highlighting an example, she pointed to the agreement among CARICOM Ministers of Law Enforcement to collaborate and share information through a Crime Gun Intelligence Unit which will be an important mechanism to pursue that collaboration and information-sharing.

She also pointed to the interest of CARICOM Ministers of Education in learning more from Belize about its experience with transforming its curricula to address several challenges in the country’s education basic sector including teacher and student burnout from content overload across the basic education curriculum.

Please see below, the full interview with Ms. Alison Drayton. She updated on the COVID-19 and Monkey Pox situation in the Region, the contributions of the outgoing Director of PAHO, Dr. Carissa Etienne, to regional health development, and discussions among CARICOM Ministers of Education to make education fit for purpose.

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