Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick????

A government minister is urging the public to cooperate with the enumerators of the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) as they traverse districts across Barbados, conducting interviews for its 2010 Population and Housing Census.

Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, made this appeal recently, as he addressed the BSS’ Advocacy Forum on Statistics, at the Frank Collymore Hall.

He said the Census would provide technocrats with vital information on a range of areas that would assist them in evaluating the island’s status.

Dr. Estwick explained: "The Government has facilitated training for the staff of the BSS, both locally and abroad, that would allow them to examine the nature of the new processes and procedures in data gathering and other modalities for delivering their mandates.

"So, I wish to encourage all Barbadians and businesses to cooperate fully with the staff of the Barbados Statistical Service Department in their effort to collect data on the country during the upcoming Census in 2010."

??Meanwhile, Director of the BSS, Angela Hunte, said the department had been advocating greater use of statistics in economic planning over the past year.

In highlighting the importance of the department’s Advocacy Forum on Statistics, she added: "I hope that this celebration would, among other things, place statistics high on the development agenda of countries; among respondents from households and businesses; users in the public and private sectors and academic and other institutions such as schools and, among members of the media."

Consultant to Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century, (PARIS) 21, Tony Williams, noted that the global economic crisis had precipitated the need for greater use of statistics in the design and implementation of national development.

He pointed out: "Good use of statistics will lead to better outcomes that will be evident in areas such as health and education.?? However, for this to happen, statistics need to be used effectively in the early stages of policy design, as well as the monitoring of policy implementation and policy outcomes. Statistics is not just about monitoring and evaluation, it’s about informing the design of policy as well."

Mr. Williams also explained that the Barbados Modernisation Project when completed would lead to a better coordinated and a more effective national statistical system.

The statistics expert also noted: "Well directed investment in statistics would pay for itself many times over, in terms of improved allocation and use of government resources.

The Advocacy Forum on Statistics was hosted by the BSS in collaboration with PARIS 21.

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