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SIB is stepping up their game

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) is tasked to gather data for the country that they use to report on the country’s progress or, lack thereof based on their data. SIB hopes to improve on its data gathering by implementing administrative registers. Today, the SIB employees and personnel from other ministries are attending a workshop where they are learning more about administrative registers and how to adopt them to make their work easier. Love News spoke with Dr. Leopold Perriott, Director-General of the Statistical Institute of Belize who told us about the initiative.

Dr.Leopold Perriott, Director General, Statistical Institute of Belize: “The idea is that you have your own unique identification number so that then you can link the data you get from immigration the data you get from health. And so health would have its own administrative registers who would be health registers, and education would have their own administrative registers which would be education registers but the unique identification number would allow you to link up all of these registers together which gives you power so you don’t have to be asking the same questions all the time. We don’t have any of that, we know we have social security number, we have the tax ID number and the GST number these are all different things, we need a unique number that identifies people, households and businesses.”

The project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Janine Perfit, Modernization of the State Lead Specialist at IDB shared the objective of the course.

Janine Perfit, Modernization of the State Lead Specialist at IDB

Janine Perfit, Mordernization of the State Lead Specialist, IDB: “The course that we are implementing today here has to do with the use of administrative data, administrative registers. It’s sounds like a very technical term but it’s just the data that a lot of the Ministries and Departments and agencies already collect; they collect migration data, they collect education data, theres’ health data ,there is all of these small databases that are housed in the individual ministries. What we want to do is look at the data and begin to link up the data so that we have a bigger picture. Something like, what disease do school children get could actually link up health data with education data and actually be able to make a policy with it and be able to do something about treating a particular disease that school children get. We have been working in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and there is one in particular that comes to mind which is Ecuador. Ecuador is very interested in using this administrative data and using these administrative registries to be able to get more information on cross sectoral issues. So they have been looking at putting together more population data. They’ve taken data from businesses, they’ve taken data from the public sector and in order to do that they’re sort of linking up this data and they are using it to understand the population more.”

Perriott said that the training is the first of its kind and while administrative data is presently being used on a small scale, it cannot be linked since there are not any unique identifiers.  According to Perriott it will take time to fully the implement administrative registers.

Dr. Leopold Perriott, Director General, Statistical Institute of Belize: “It’s not that it’s going to happen overnight however the hope is that for the long term it will save us an awful lot of money, a census is an enormously expensive proposition and I would not joke about this. Also the census is done once every ten years and as pointed out ‘what happens between?” it’s anybody’s guess and so can estimate and you can suppose and compose but then the administrative data gives you a more continuous look as to what is happening between over years. It will require probably a lot of retraining in the institute because people have to get used to the idea that this is how we can forgo the use of so many censuses and surveys. The thing about census and surveys is that people get tired. We do two labor force surveys for the year and people say ‘Oh I just say you the other day and you come again?”

The workshop ends on Friday.