The 2019 edition of Caribbean Statistics Day in St. Kitts and Nevis was celebrated with an open day aimed at promoting statistics and heightening the interest of the general public.
“This day is important to us because it is a day when we create a greater awareness of the activities of the department, taking a break from our regular schedule to promote, advertise and advocate for what we do in statistics,” Carlton Phipps, Director of Statistics in the Ministry of Sustainable Development said. “Notably, government has always been at the forefront of statistics, but statistics is not only important to government, but also to establishments — whether profit or non-profit organizations — and also to the general public in making sound decisions,” he added.
The director commented on the theme for this years’ Caribbean Statistics Day “Building Resilience of the Caribbean Community.”
“This theme is important, recognizing the importance of statistics to the development agenda of all member states. It facilitates evidence-based decision-making, which in turn promotes the sustainable growth in development of our country, our region and our people, and that is very important,” he said.
St. Kitts and Nevis joins other Member States in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to celebrate this important day.
“I am particularly pleased that the Department of Statistics has decided to join with our counterparts in the Caribbean to celebrate this day,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Elretha Simpson-Browne. “I am of the impression that most people believe that statistics just concerns government or businesses, so the awareness that we are trying to bring today is that statistics is for everybody. It helps us to make good decisions in our everyday life.”
PS Simpson-Browne and Director Phipps extended sincere thanks to the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and other regional and international development partners that have provided their support to the overall goals and accomplishments of the department.
The open day formed part of the week of activities organized by the Department of Statistics in observance of the 11th Annual Caribbean Statistics Day. Other activities included an Advocacy and Communications Workshop, a church service, and presentation in schools.
The week continues with a presentation to the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Student with the Best Results in Statistics Friday at CFBC, and a Staff Retreat on Friday, Oct. 25 at the St. Kitts Credit Union Conference Room.
Business and Institutional Communities Encouraged to Strengthen Cooperation with the Department of Statistics
In an effort to get accurate and timely information that can be used to plan policies and execute targeted marketing strategies, business and institutional communities are encouraged to strengthen cooperation with the Department of Statistics, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Elretha Simpson-Browne, said at the Open Day Tuesday.
“Our business communities are very important to us. My focus today is to appeal to our business and institutional communities to cooperate more with the Department of Statistic, and to ask you to give the department the support and the information that we need so that when we disseminate the statistics it would be accurate statistics,” the permanent secretary said. “Today, (Oct. 15), we launched our website, but I believe that we know whatever we put in is what we are going to get out. So, if the information that goes on our website is not correct, then that is the information that the general public would have.”
The Department of Statistics’ website can be found at: www.stats.gov.kn.
Government Pledges to Continue to Strengthen Statistics Department
The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis pledged to continue efforts to enhance local awareness of the importance of statistics, as well as strengthen the quality of data collection and analysis based on international standards, while improving relations with development partners to achieve these goals the Minister of Social Services, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said during a national radio and television address to officially mark the observance of Caribbean Statistics Day Tuesday.
Minister Hamilton noted that Caribbean Statistics Day, first commemorated in October 2009 in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), highlights the crucial role statistics play across a wide spectrum of activities and sectors, adding statistics has a significant impact on the work of the public and private sectors, as well as academia.
He noted how statistics affect the lives of individuals — actuaries that use statistics to assess the likelihood of future events and calculate the associated financial costs, if they were to happen, such as those who work in the insurance industry helping insurance companies to determine risk levels and premium prices, for example.
“Statistics is important to the government — in the management of policies and programmes; the business sector — for pursuing productive and profitable ventures, and the general public – for making rational decisions regarding spending and life’s ambitions,” the minister said.
And the Team Unity administration has relied on the expertise of actuaries on matters such as Universal Health Care and resolving all outstanding issues with respect to incorporating Government Auxiliary Employees (GAEs) into the pensionable establishment. The administration has also engaged an actuary to provide advice and support in enhancing the sustainability of the Severance Fund for present and future generations of workers.
“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,” he said.
Minister Hamilton noted that the Statistics Department in the Ministry of Sustainable Development is carrying out an Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment to report on the incidence of poverty and assess the general improvement in living conditions of the population.
“The importance of such data is to update the basic information and enable policymakers to conduct more effective planning and implementation of programmes. 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 minister said.