Authorities from national statistics offices in Latin America and the Caribbean recognized the relevance of development in transition in identifying priorities for statistical development in the region’s countries and fostering the contribution of statistics to public policymaking, on the final day of the Twentieth Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas (SCA) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The event – which concluded on Thursday, April 8 – drew the participation of 33 delegations from ECLAC’s Member States and 10 associate members, along with regional representatives and representatives of the United Nations System’s agencies, funds and programs, international organizations, academia and civil society.
During the meeting, countries called for fostering the production of national statistics to strengthen monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions (social, economic and environmental), recognizing the need to consolidate methodologies and ensure the regular production of data for environment-related indicators.
Furthermore, they agreed on the importance of producing information based on the measurement of perceptions to complement the information routinely collected on the physical living conditions of Latin America and the Caribbean’s population, in the context of generating official national statistics.
In the closing ceremony, Juan Daniel Oviedo, Director-General of the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) of Colombia, in his capacity as Chair of the SCA-ECLAC, pointed up the meeting’s success and the prevalence of dialogue, feedback, innovation and accountability.
“These principles allowed us to identify not only existing needs but also the opportunities entailed by the complex times in which we live from a public health, social, economic and environmental perspective,” he affirmed.
Meanwhile, Rolando Ocampo, Director of ECLAC’s Statistics Division, highlighted the work done over the course of the two-day meeting, which “consolidated support for the national statistics offices as a regional whole in which we grow and progress together by contributing to decision-making to support the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean.”
In the meeting’s final resolution, approved unanimously by the countries present, the Executive Committee of the Statistical Conference of the Americas invited national statistics offices and other agencies that produce official statistics to coordinate actions to include information on national monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Regional Knowledge Platform on the 2030 Agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean (SDG Gateway), which was implemented by ECLAC in conjunction with the United Nations system’s organizations, funds and programs in the region.
The participants also expressed appreciation for the progress made in updating the technologies of the CEPALSTAT database and statistical publications, and called for promoting the development in the region of online systems for disseminating statistical information that use open source code and data and integrate geospatial information.
In addition, they encouraged the region’s national statistics offices to participate actively in the production and dissemination of social, economic and environmental statistics at a city level, by defining standards and promoting quality assurance processes for urban statistics produced by other institutions, as well as by adopting robust methodologies and taking advantage of complementary data sources to produce disaggregated statistics on a city scale.
Furthermore, they stressed the relevance of mechanisms for evaluating compliance with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, including peer review processes, to strengthen the quality of statistical production and the institutional framework of national statistical systems.
The main objectives of the Statistical Conference of the Americas, which is a subsidiary body of ECLAC, are to promote the development and improvement of national statistics and their international comparability, along with international, regional and bilateral cooperation among national offices and international and regional agencies.
The SCA’s Executive Committee is currently chaired by Colombia and composed of Canada, Chile, Grenada, Italy, Jamaica and Mexico.