|Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe|
Barbados needs to consider practical and pragmatic means to deal with challenges in producing statistics and data on a regular basis.
And, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, has suggested that consideration be given to the re-establishment of the inter-agency
National Steering Committee on Indicators of Sustainable Development, for the production of the Barbados Report on the Latin American Initiative on Sustainable Development.
He was at the time speaking during a two-day workshop last week jointly hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Government to discuss the production of the report at the Cave Hill Campus.
"This report will provide a snap shot utilising key indicators of progress made in achieving sustainable development in accordance with Barbados’ national defined priorities and international agreements," Dr. Lowe said.
He added that work done during the workshop would be instrumental in setting the stage for Barbados’ future engagement with the United Nations in the follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference.
Noting the importance and value of current, verifiable and frequently published data in the decision-making process, the Minister pointed out that Barbados as a small island developing state, faced challenges in producing statistics and data regularly.
He added that the use of Indicators of Sustainable Development was not novel to Barbados, and stressed that "a crucial mechanism which guided and drove the [Barbados’] international work was the inter-agency National Steering Committee on Indicators of Sustainable Development".??
"This steering committee was instrumental in bringing together a national network of research and planning units as the producers and users of data and information to guide our vision for what a monitoring programme for national sustainable development, through the use of statistics, data and indicators, would entail," he said, adding it worked successfully in the past and would work in the future.
He also recommended that consideration be given to the re-establishment of the grouping to also provide input to the Barbados Permanent Mission to the United Nations as Barbados seeks to play an instrumental role in the development of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals.
However, the Minister also threw out a challenge for organisations to consider finding other means of gathering their information despite the current economic situation.
"Consider for instance, what operational challenges can we make to prioritise data and information in our organisations??? How can we benefit from Barbados’ great strides in information and communication technologies to advance our work? and how do we engage ???Joe Public’ in the indicators design and feedback phases?" Dr. Lowe queried.