Fellow Citizens, today, we in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis join other CARICOM member-states as we observe the Eleventh Anniversary of “Caribbean Statistics Day”.
The observance of Caribbean Statistics Day (CSD) by National Statistics Offices and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat was agreed to by the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (SCCS) at its Thirty-Third meeting in Barbados in October, 2008 where it was agreed that Caribbean Statistics Day will be commemorated on the 15th of October each year.
Caribbean Statistics Day (CSD) was first observed in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in October 2009 under the theme – “Better Statistics, Better Management, Better Development Outcomes”
The theme for this year, as it was last year, is – “Building the Resilience of the Caribbean Community”. As CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin Laroque has stated in an address to the region, “It is both timely and necessary to strengthen and sustain statistics and to modernize and transform the work being done in the regional and national statistics systems when one considers the importance of data…” And this is underlined in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian which struck the Bahamas last month with the loss of lives, destruction of property, damage to the infrastructure and overall devastation to parts of the Country. He reiterated that strong regional co-operation is vital in the achievement of a resilient Community.
The commemoration of Caribbean Statistics Day today is geared to highlight statistics and the crucial role it plays across a wide spectrum of activities and sectors in government, business, academia and other users. It also includes its importance to the daily decision making faced by individuals, businesses, students, among others, in planning, policy-making and research activities.
The Heads of Government endorsed the Strategic Framework for the Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics at their Thirty-Ninth Regular Meeting in Jamaica, July 2018 recognizing that the RSDS is central to the advancement of the regional integration process. This modernization and transformational work have strong relevance to the CARICOM Community; cognizant to the fact that strong regional statistical co-operation is vital in the achievement of a robust Caribbean Community.
Consequently, (RSDS), which aims to strengthen and sustain official statistics, is adopted by our Federation. This strategy is designed to make available harmonized, intra-regional statistics to guide and monitor its progress and to provide information for decision-making that is evidence-based.
I use this medium to remind us of the importance of statistics to everyday living. Statistics is important to the government – in the management of policies and programs; the business sector- for pursuing productive and profitable ventures; and the general public- for making rational decisions regarding spending and life’s ambitions. Accurate Statistics is ever so relevant to our Federation in that our regional and international partners utilize it to evaluate and tailor the type of support that they could provide to St. Kitts-Nevis.
Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Statistics Division of the Planning Unit in the Ministry of Sustainable Development is mandated –
- to collect, compile, analyse, abstract and publish statistical information relative to the commercial, industrial, social, economic and general activities and conditions of the people who are inhabitants of the State;
- to collaborate with all other departments of Government and with local authorities in the collection, computation and publication of statistical records of administration;
- to take any census in the State; and
- generally to organize a co-ordinated scheme of social and economic statistics and intelligence pertaining to the State in accordance with the Statistics Act, Cap 23.31,
A very notable use of statistics is assessing the needs of the poor and vulnerable amongst us. The use of statistical data informs us of the status of, and the nature and condition of poor and vulnerable groups, and the number of persons affected or at risk.
The Statistics Department in the Ministry of Sustainable Development has undertaken the Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment during the period 2018-2019 to report on the incidence of poverty and to give an assessment of the general improvement in living conditions of our residents and citizens. The importance of such data is to update the basic information and enable policymakers to conduct more effective planning and implementation of programs. Inevitably, this would better prepare us for the effects of natural disasters, economic crises and other negative unforeseen circumstances that could result in the loss of lives.
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis expresses its appreciation to, and will continue to work with, our Development Partners in advancing the awareness of the importance of statistics and strengthening the quality of our statistics based on international standards.
As a part of this year’s commemoration, the Statistics Department has planned several activities during the month of October to highlight its statistical work program. These activities include the following:
- October 8th – 11th Advocacy and Communication Workshop for agencies comprising the National Statistical System:. (from all account, last week’s session was very well attended and was a resounding success);
- Church Worship – Sunday 13th October 2019, was held at the Word of life New Testament Church, Central Street.
- October 14th and 15th; – Interactive Presentation on the Importance of Statistics and Careers in the field of Statistics to 4th and 5th Form High School Students in St. Kitts and Nevis:
- October 15th – Statistics Open Day- to display and discuss the activities of the Department and launch the Statistics Department’s website (www.stats.gov.kn): in the Ministry of Sustainable Development parking lot.
- October 18th – Gift Presentation to CFBC 1st Year Student with best results in statistics.
- October 25th- Staff Retreat- aim to increase productivity and efficiency in doing business through strengthening team-spirit and managerial capabilities:
The Team Unity Administration will continue to give every support to the efforts of the Statistics Department. I wish the Department of Statistics within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the very best and every success with the planned activities as they observe Caribbean Statistics Day!”