Stakeholders are currently participating in workshop geared at developing a comprehensive data collecting system. Different bodies and organizations have been tasked to reach a consensus on a list of indicators that would be used to monitor the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy through the National Statistical System and the Monitoring and Evaluating framework. These indicators will also serve as the focus of the first stage in the creation of a strong and effective NSS for Belize. Leading the initiative is the Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB. Director General Dr. Leopold Perriott spoke more on the workshop.
“The growth and sustainable development strategy has a measurement and evaluation component to it and the indicators used in that strategy are a part of the National Statistical System indicators and so that is how we come in so we are using the opportunity of working along with the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum to come up with a number of measurements and evaluation indicators which can be used also for national statistics policies. The GSD strategy has a number of areas that they have to keep track of whether its education or health, whether its poverty and things of that sort they have to keep track to make sure that their policies and procedures and systems are actually working and that is why you need the measurement and evaluation system and so in order to get that we need to have these indicators that will tell people that these things are not working as the case might be. These indicators are also part of what the National Statistical System have to look at and so we are trying to not duplicate basically that is what it is.”
“How would consolidating all that data from different stake holders and analyzing it work?”
“Well that is a major issue that has to be dealt with, the idea is that different areas and organizations produce different kinds of statistics and because of the sizes of SIB its not a huge, fantastically elaborate place we need to depend on what comes from different organizations and different Ministries and businesses and what have you. So somehow we have to collate all the information, have a standard practice to make sure that people know what definitions are, make sure that they know what the various standards we are using, what international kinds of activities are involved in all of this it has to be established and then there has to be a central location where this information comes to and that is where we come in we have to do some kind of coordinating activities; this isn’t a short job this will take years to do.”
The initiative has the financial support from the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB. Lead Specialist, Janine Perfit spoke to the media.
“The IDB has been working here in Belize for almost 25 years now this is our 25th anniversary, we are dedicated to improving lives in Belize and there is nothing more important than working with data to improve the lives of people Belize. The SIB is the leading institution all the other ministries and agencies and department of the National Statistical System produce data for their own purposes but it’s the SIB who is coordinating the data. For us that is very important to get the data out there to help everyone who needs the data and who can use the data.”
“Are you able to share the funding budget that the IDB has set aside for this project.”
“This is actually a very small budget we hired three consultants to do a year’s worth of work to help us do an analysis of the National Statistical System to present some strengthening activities, to do three workshops all together and so its really a minimal budget to do as much as we are doing with this little bit of money. The IDB has 26 member countries in the region and Latin America we’ve been working in almost all 26 countries to strengthen their national statistical system some of the larger countries are much more developed than the smaller countries particularly the countries in the Caribbean but we are using them to provide technical assistance to Belize so that they can know how it’s done in other countries, what is successful and what works and what are the best practices.”
The workshop is part of a broader program to strengthen the National Statistical System that is being implemented by the SIB with the support of the IDB.