Stakeholders attend presentation on statistical information key for evidenced based sustainable development planning

Secretary Generals, National Development Plan team from the Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK), implementing agency for NDP project, representatives from all ministries involved with Millennium Development goals, the Inter-Ministerial work group and the Steering Committee for the project Building a Nation: St. Maarten National Development Plan and institutional Strengthening, on Tuesday attended a presentation about country Statistics at the University of St. Martin (USM).

Statistics ensures accessibility to reliable information that enables policy makers to make policies and (budgetary) plans and to actually monitor progress in human development.

To further consolidate Governments efforts in evidenced based sustainable development planning, the aforementioned will establish a national database, called DEV–Info that will enable Government to monitor the developmental progress of the country.

The DEV-Info database system is being used by numerous countries for this purpose. The Government of Sint Maarten, in particular the Department of Statistics within the Ministry of Tourism, Economic affairs Transport and Telecommunication and BAK, will oversee the implementation of the DEV–Info system in Sint Maarten.

The 2011 Millennium Development report for Sint Maarten indicated that the country was lagging behind on (Millennium Development Goals (MDG) MDG1 (Eradicating of Poverty and hunger) and MDG 7 (Ensure Environmental sustainability).

In order to address that, a country action plan was developed to accelerate progress in addressing poverty and environmental issues on Sint Maarten.

For the country action plan to work, as in deed implementing a national strategic plan, there is a need for reliable statistical data. At present much of the data is not in retrievable form or validated.

Only through a process of collecting, digitalizing and confirming data validity is government able to truly measure progress in achieving the policy results that are expected to be accomplished.

Data availability is an important aspect of governance as was recently also stipulated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and different committees on integrity.

The presentation was given by Sameer Thapar who works for CSF, the company awarded the project to develop and implement the DEV-Info Database in Sint Maarten. Thapar is a Technical Manager and Senior trainer of the DEV-Info support group.