Statistical Systems to be Improved

A project aimed at strengthening the statistical systems of the Caribbean, in order to address identified gaps to improve socio-economic measures and support evidence-based policy making, will be launched in Grenada on Monday.

“The Caribbean community has identified some statistical gaps in both social and economic statistics, which makes it difficult for policy makers to make informed decisions that benefit their countries and the region. The gaps also make it difficult to monitor key development measures in the areas of economic growth, poverty, health, education, and migration,” said a news release from the Grenada Ministry of Finance, which explained that the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean is funded by the Government of Canada to the tune of CAD$19.5 million over seven years — April 2015 to March 2022.

The release said that through the PRASC, Statistics Canada intends to work with the National Statistical Offices (NSO) of 14 eligible CARICOM countries and in collaboration with other organizations active in the region, to develop methods and approaches that can eventually be used by the statistical system of all Caribbean countries.

Specifically, the initiative will focus on four components to:

  1. Enhance the Systems of National Accounts;
  2. Improve business statistics by working on a robust business survey infrastructure;
  3. Improve household statistics, including sex-disaggregated socio-economic indicators, by working on a robust survey infrastructure for household surveys; and
  4. Improve sharing of statistical information and expertise at the national and regional levels.

PRASC will take a “learning by doing” phased approach, through a logical progression from knowledge sharing/training, to adaptation and testing of the newly acquired best practices and tools, to national implementation, and, finally, to regional sharing. “This approach has proven to be successful and sustainable in Statistics Canada’s experience with other technical assistance, as it focuses on the local needs and finding solutions viable in the local context,” the release explains.

Most of the first year of the project will be dedicated to understanding the Caribbean context, scoping the regional needs in more detail and planning the activities to be conducted during the course of the project. During the first meeting of PRASC in April 2015, there will be discussions with the NSOs and regional stakeholders in order to identify the more pressing needs and discuss potential alignment with current and future regional initiatives.

The main beneficiaries of this project will be the National Statistical Offices, National Statistical Systems and the Regional Statistical System of the Caribbean region. Data users, including policy and law makers, academic, private and public institutions and women and men, boys and girls in the Caribbean region are also expected to benefit to a lesser extent.

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