Quality statistics have been described as the catalyst for the development of any country.
Senior Director, Caribbean Regional Programme, at the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, Benoit-Pierre Laramée, expressed this view on Wednesday evening, during the closing ceremony for the three-day PRASC/CARICAD/CLP regional workshop for leaders in national statistical offices, at Accra Beach Resort.
Mr. Laramée said it was imperative that persons continue to recognise the vital role statistics play in building resilience, achieving sustainable development and efficient management of resources through improved evidence-based decision-making.
“Statistics are at the core of strategic decisions. CARICOM countries continue to face increasing demands for statistics that are timely and reliable. Just recently, we saw how important quick access to reliable data played in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“While significant strides have been made in the advancement of statistics over the last decade, there is still a lot of work that has to be done, including gender analysis, as gender issues move forward in national and global agenda,” he stated.
Director of the Barbados Statistical Service, Aubrey Browne, emphasised the importance of the training, saying some of the offices were undergoing changes in organisational structures and human resources, and the new leaders were required to manage the office and statistical work programmes.
“However, when junior officers are placed in senior posts, they are seldom provided with the relevant leadership training, which is critical for the effective performance of their roles….
“In difficult economic times, we are often expected to produce more outputs, with reduced staff complements. Such situations place great strain and stress on existing staff, especially when there are no replacements readily available. So, our leadership roles become more critical in such scenarios, in managing our available resources as efficiently as possible,” he explained.
Mr. Browne stated that with greater demands for national statistics, policy-making and evidence-based decision-making, all available statistical producing units within our countries must be maximised, to form effective National Statistical Systems.
“The development and support of such National Statistical Systems are more vital now, with the need to respond to the challenge of producing adequate data for monitoring the achievement of our countries’ Sustainable Development Goals for the 2030 Agenda,” he pointed out.
Eighteen persons from the region attended Module 1 of the Leadership Programme. The workshop was sponsored by the Project for the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean; while the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration and the Caribbean Leadership Project conducted the training.
The second component will be held in Jamaica next year.