Guyana among regional statistical offices bolstered through CAD$19.5M project
Guyana is among 14 Caribbean Community (Caricom) Members States and regional institutions that are benefitting from a project funded by the Canadian Government that seeks to address statistical gaps to improve socio-economic measures and support evidence-based policy making in the Caribbean.
Launched in 2015, the CAD$19.5 million project for the Regional Advancement of Statistics in the Caribbean (PRASC) was implemented by Statistics Canada and worked to build capacity of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) in the 14 Caricom countries and regional institutions.
Specifically, the PRASC helped to enhance the Systems of National Accounts by ensuring adherence to international standards; to enhance economic statistics by working on a robust business survey infrastructure; to improve social statistics by incorporating sex-disaggregated socio-economic indicators into household surveys; and, to encourage statistical information and expertise sharing at national and regional levels.
In a recent statement, it was disclosed that NSO representatives from the 14 participating regional nations and agencies gathered in Barbados on March 20 and March 21 for the final Project Steering Committee meeting of the Canada-funded PRASC initiative, which was held under the theme:
The meeting included presentations and discussion on: the Population and Housing Census; key PRASC activities; NSO accomplishments & priorities post-PRASC; and the project exit strategy, among other areas.
At this Round of Census in the Region, which was held under the theme: ‘Leave no one behind, Everyone counts!’, Guyana was represented by Chief Statistician at the Guyana Bureau of Statistics, Errol La Cruez.
Co-chaired by Global Affairs Canada, Statistics Canada and the CARICOM Secretariat, the two-day Project Steering Committee meeting allowed partners and stakeholders to present key activities and achievements from the eight-year project and to outline future priorities.
In her remarks, Executive Director of Canada’s Caribbean Regional Development Program Sharon Peake referenced the benefits of collaboration between Statistical Offices in the Caribbean to learn from each other post-PRASC.
She shared, “This is exactly the sort of vision and proactive cooperation that is needed to ensure the sustainability of any project – especially like PRASC which has invested CAD$19 million into the region over the past eight years.”
In addition to Guyana, the meeting saw NSO representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Population Fund.
Regional Director of Statistics at the CARICOM Secretariat Halim Brizan noted, “PRASC has provided capacity building and technical assistance that have contributed to strategic drivers in the Regional Statistics Development Strategy.”
Participating NSOs recognised the tangible benefits of PRASC to the region, referencing the extensive support Statistics Canada provided for development of their websites in an effort to bring data closer to citizens. They also noted that, through PRASC, they are now able to provide accurate, reliable and much needed data in a timelier manner. In some cases, results from surveys are made available within one month after data validation.
The PRASC, which formally concludes in September 2023, reflects a shared commitment by the Government Canada and CARICOM to advance gender equality and environmental sustainability in the Caribbean by enhancing social infrastructure and social services at the national level and regional levels.