(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Community's Strategic Plan, and internationally agreed goals, including those from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will be taken into account as preparations begin for the upcoming Round of Population and Housing Census.
This is in an effort to ensure that issues of importance to CARICOM Member States are considered and that there is greater harmonisation and comparability of the data that emerges from the exercise.
The next Population and Housing Census Round is in 2020, and the CARICOM Secretariat, earlier in May, held a workshop that is aimed at building on the approach that was used in the 2010 Census Round which saw a common core of questions being asked.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day workshop on 16 May in Bridgetown, Barbados, Director, Regional Statistics, Dr. Philomen Harrison, pointed out the reasons why the CSME, Strategic Plan and international goals were identified for inclusion.
The measurement of the functioning of the CSME – the region's flagship programme - largely relied on key statistics and indicators, and was therefore vital to determine the impact of the regional integration thrust, she said.
Preparations will also take into consideration the resilience theme of the CARICOM Five-Year Strategic Plan. The Plan recognises the threats to the sustainable development of the Region, including financial, economic, social and environmental.
Information on population and housing, and baseline data, are necessary to monitor and report on the sustainable development goals and the Samoa Pathway to evaluate the impact of those interventions which seek ultimately to eradicate poverty.
"Statisticians of the Region are therefore challenged to consider these frameworks which perhaps in some respects are outside of their comfort zones relative to the traditional list of topics that are incorporated in census-taking.
What issues can we include to provide in an innovative approach, the basis for the transformative agenda of the CSME, the Strategic Plan of the Community, the 2030 Agenda and the Samoa Pathway", Dr. Harrison challenged workshop participants, as she urged them to "think outside the box."
The workshop is the first preparatory one ahead of the Census and was supported by the government of Canada, the United Nations Populations Fund and PARIS21.