The Statistical Office of the Ministry of Finance is hoping to promote effective and sustainable development in Grenada with the launch of its DevInfo initiative.
DevInfo, which is short for Development Information, was launched last week Thursday at the Public Workers Union Building in Tanteen, St. George’s.
Speaking at the launch, Chair of the Project Steering Committee, Halim Brizan said the initiative has come at a most important time.
“This project is very timely since we are approaching 2015 which is the target year for reporting on the NBG’ s and it is also quite timely because our current economic challenges have left us no choice but to depend on good data for sound decision making,” he told participants.
“With good data our country can effectively use its limited resources to achieve sustainable development”, he said.
DevInfo is a database system that provides a method to organise, store and display data in a uniform format.
It also facilitates data access at the country level among government institutions, their development partners and the general public.
The objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of the participating countries – Anguilla, Barbados, Grenada, Montserrat and St Lucia and the Secretariat of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The project is also geared at monitoring progress and to report on the Caribbean Specific Millennium Development Goals (NBG’s) and other key thematic and cross-thematic development indicators.
The first adaptation of DevInfo was launched in 2010 and is now named Spice Isle Info.
Brizan said since then they have been updating the database but have not adequately promoted its use because of resource constraints and other priorities within the Statistical Department
“We therefore hope that this project creates the momentum necessary for us to promote the use of DevInfo throughout Grenada…”, he said.
According to Brizan, the thinking is that through this project “we are hoping to launch an updated Spice Isle Info version and also to develop our own Census info given that we have stats with the census dissemination process and census info is actually the main platform for the dissemination of census data in the Caricom region,” he said.
Brizan adde that it is the intention of the Statistical Department that other ministries, departments and agencies will come on board by using DevInfo as the main tool for the storage and reporting of their final data.
“We envision a statistical system with more reliable and statistical data which would promote evidence based planning and result in better development outcomes for all. We therefore see DevInfo as an important vehicle in realising this vision,” he said.
Representing the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the Eastern Caribbean area at the launch was Oladimeji Olowu who stated that based on experiences from other countries in the Eastern Caribbean, DevInfo appears to have been a solution for those looking to resolve problems in that area.
“The idea right now is to try to change that around and to have policy makers making demand of us and then DevInfo will become a solution that can be able to help policy decision makers to take better decisions, faster decisions and more effective and more efficient decisions”, Olowu said.