In every sphere of life, the provision of timely and accurate statistics plays a vital role for social and economic planners as technocrats rely on them to "map out" a plan to reinvigorate economic activity.

Acting Director of the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS), Trevor David, spoke about the importance of maintaining a modern statistical system during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service.

Underscoring the importance of statistics, he added that they were important in the monitoring and evaluation of economies especially during an economic crisis, when pertinent social programmes were impacted. "Statistics are important for monitoring, evaluating and assessing how well countries are doing.?? The world is still going through a recession and that will have an impact on a country’s social programmes.?? So, if government agencies are not continuously monitoring and evaluating the state of their respective economies, we [economic planners] would not know when countries have come out of the recession or if they have gone further into recession," Mr. David emphasised.

The Acting Director also spoke about the need for a modern statistical system that brought together the business community, academia, students, media and the public.????

"The system brings together the users and producers of statistics which comprise the representatives from the business community, academia, the media, the public, and anyone who use statistical data in everyday life.???? More importantly, official statistical data is used to calculate the Gross Domestic Product, the Retail Price Index and compiling Unemployment statistics.?? In other instances, the raw data is used to inform businesses seeking information on market share to break into new markets, in manufacturing, data is used to develop new products," Mr. David explained.

Acknowledging that the current statistical system needed to become more integrated, the Acting Director said the benefits of such a move included the removal of the duplication of effort and the timely release of information to make better planning decisions.

"In a fast paced world where everything is at one’s finger tips, the existing system in its present form would not meet the demands of such changes.?? In this regard, everyone must contribute to making the statistical system excellent," Mr. David noted.??

The project was officially launched in March 2009 and is being executed in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank to strengthen the BSS’ capacity to become the leader in the provision of relevant, timely and quality economic and social statistics.

Another component of the programme is the creation of a human resource management system that will encompass a re-organisation of current human resource practices and the training of BSS and other agency staff that would lead to improvements of its statistical products.


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