Strengthening OECS Social and Poverty Data for Better Decision Making

OECS Media Release

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 — Social and poverty data for better governance decision making across the OECS has been strengthened with the recent convening of the OECS Living Standards Measurement Committee (LSMC) Joint Sixth Technical and Ninth General meetings held from April 10th and 11th in Dominica.

The LSMC serves as an advisory body to the national statistics offices (NSOs) and the OECS Commission on issues relating to social and poverty data as well as inequality indicators.

The objectives of the meeting were inter alia, to:

receive updates on the main decisions and actions tabled at the Fifth Technical Committee and Eighth General LSMC meetings
to share experiences and lessons learnt from implementing household surveys
receive updates on Member States’ preparation to implement their Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment (CPA); and
confirm agreement on the methodologies, instruments and criteria for the assessments of poverty and inequality according to international best practices.
The meeting also discussed Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) as a rich source of data for the health and social conditions of children and women, which Member States can use to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The use of Internal Review Boards to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects selected to participate in behavioural or social science research was also discussed.

In his opening remarks Mr. Elbert Ellis, Operations Officer (Social Analyst) at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Project Supervisor of the Enhanced CPA Project, pledged to assess and provide where necessary, financial support to assist OECS Member States to execute their CPAs.

Mr. Ellis also encouraged Member States to institutionalise their National Assessment Teams (NATs) as the official mechanism to guide and support continuous collection of social and poverty data.

The Head of the Statistical Services Unit at the OECS Commission, Dr. Gale Archibald in her opening remarks thanked the development partners who have supported the LSMC meetings since its inception in 2011, noting also the achievements to date.

“We are profoundly grateful to DFID, the World Bank, UNDP and other partners for bringing OECS Member States and the OECS Commission, to this point – we are convening for the ninth time which is deserving of the applause and acknowledgement of the work and achievements of the Commitee” said Dr. Archibald.

Dr. Archibald also reminded participants of the mandate for this work by pointing to the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, specifically, Article 23: Human and Social Development.

Member States also reaffirmed their appreciation to the UNDP for their technical support for producing multi-dimensional poverty indicators (MPI) and for ensuring that their MPI analytical skills are strengthened though their affiliation with Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The meetings were organised by the OECS Commission’s Statistical Services Unit and funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Dominica Meeting were attended by Directors/Chief Statisticians of the Member States’ NSOs, social and economic planners and policy analysts who are all considered to be part of the national statistical system (NSS).

The meetings were chaired by Mr. Carlton Phipps, Director of Statistics, St. Kitts Central Statistical Office.

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