OECS Regional Data Governance Council Officially Launched

PR — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission officially launched the OECS Regional Data Governance Council (RDGC) on October 11, 2023, in Saint Lucia. The hybrid launch was attended by directors of statistics from member states, officials of the World Bank, representatives from Caricom, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The RDGC is a component of the World Bank-funded OECS Data for Decision Making project, which was approved in May 2022. The RDGC aims to improve the capacity of the participating Eastern Caribbean countries (Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) to produce and publicly disseminate statistical data for country and OECS regional level analytics. It will do this by strengthening both national and regional level capacities.

The RDGC will aim to stimulate innovations suitable for the small island states in the Eastern Caribbean, increase the provision of technical assistance and regional training, and support regional analytical products and dissemination. This will also contribute to the implementation of the OECS Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) – (2017-2030).

In his remarks at the launch, OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules highlighted the role of the RDGC towards the achievement of the strategic objectives of the OECS. Dr. Jules noted that the RDGC will play a vital role in ensuring that the OECS and its member states have access to high-quality, timely, and reliable data to inform decision-making and support the region’s development. He stated,

The OECS Regional Data Governance Council is designed to be the beacon that guides our collective journey in managing and utilising data across our region. The Revised Treaty of Basseterre mandating the establishment of the Economic Union speaks to several imperatives that presuppose and require the standardisation, systematic collection, effective management and intelligent utilisation of data.

Mr. Roy Katayama, Senior Economist at the World Bank and World Bank Lead on the DDM Project, congratulated the OECS on the achievement of this milestone. Mr. Katayama noted that the RDGC is a significant step towards improving data governance and strengthening the statistical system in the OECS region. He further noted that,

The establishment of this Regional Data Governance Council signifies your collective commitment to ensuring integrity. The harmonisation of statistical data is a major step in building a stronger regional statistical system with solid foundations for data production. management. dissemination, and protection. The potential benefits of better regional data are enormous.

Following the launch, members of the Council met in Saint Lucia from October 12-13 to establish the short and medium terms plans for the RDGC. At this inaugural meeting, Director of Statistics in Grenada Ms. Kenita Paul was elected to serve as Chair of the RDGC. Ms. Paul will be responsible for steering the direction of the council as she leads in the formulation of the work programme for this year. Among the immediate actions outlined by the Council was the need to focus on data quality assessment measures and documentation of lessons learned in census implementation.