by Linda Straker
- Statistics key element in building resilience
- PM admitted not a lot of statistics used when making decisions in the past
- Opportunities for statistics training through scholarship should be offered
Chief statisticians and directors of statistics from Caricom member states and associate member states along with regional policymakers have gathered in Grenada for the Third High-Level Advocacy Forum on Statistics. Among things to be discussed, forging a collaborative approach to the development of statistics based on partnerships among agencies and the avoidance of duplication of efforts.
“This is a watershed moment on the thrust to build the use of statistics in the region,” said Dr Philomen Harrison, Project Director, Regional Statistics at the Caricom Statistics while addressing the opening ceremony held at the Grenada Trade Centre on Friday.
Explaining that statistics are important to develop socially and economically, Harrison said that the influence of statistics should never be underestimated. “Statistics is a key element in building resilience,” she shared in her example.
Halim Brizan, Head of the Statistics Department in Grenada said that the main objective of the forum is to ensure that the decision of Heads of Government in endorsing that Caricom RSDS becomes operational through reinforcing the importance of statistics as a priority of the national, regional and international development agenda relative to attracting investment in this data sector.
“It will also be an opportunity for realising high-level commitment by governments of Caricom to investing in the strengthening of the national and regional statistical offices/systems as a key means of sustaining the development and availability of statistics,” he said.
The forum will also be used as an initiative to obtain high-level support from countries, economic integration areas, international agencies and other partners and statistical agencies in the region and world over for the implementation of the Caricom RSDS; Enabling the production and dissemination of timely, high-quality and relevant statistics for decision-making and for the empowerment of citizens of Caricom.
“This forum will also be promoting the use of statistics in informing all aspects of economic, social, environmental and technological challenges that impact the building of resilience in Caricom,” said Harrison.
Delivering the keynote address was Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell who called for scholarship and training in the area of statistics because it is essential to policy and developmental decisions.
“For statistics development not a lot of attention has been given to that area of development in the region,” said Dr Mitchell who admitted that in the past not a lot of statistics was used when making decisions. “We have to move past this. Just as we train doctors, engineers and others so too we should be offering opportunities for statistics training through scholarship,” he advised participants in a seminar on statistics which preceded the forum.