The Solomon Islands Government requires reliable statistical evidence to develop, implement and evaluate its increasingly diverse and complex sustainable economic development program.
To achieve this goal, the National Statistics Office in the Ministry of Finance and Treasury is coordinating the formulation of the National Statistics Development Strategy, a 20-year plan to oversee the development of statistics and build capacity in Solomon Islands’ ministries.
Speaking at the launching of the development strategy on Wednesday McKinnie Dentana, the Under Secretary for the Economics Division of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, said that, “Statistics can be used to measure the DCC Government’s progress in achieving its objectives; such as working towards food security and poverty alleviation and ensuring a healthy, literate and contented population; and generating jobs and increased employment opportunities for the growing population and achieving high economic growth, wealth and social well-being for all Solomon Islanders.”
Mr Dentana stated the current national statistical system is not fully responsive in terms of supplying statistics users with the information that they need.
“The range of statistics produced does not provide the information we need to monitor the economy. One such example is the need for a national Consumer Price Index for effective fiscal and monetary policies. At the moment the Honiara Price Index is the only data we have with which to measure inflation.”
The Government Statistician Douglas Kimi informed the key stakeholders and development partners that the NSDS 2015-2035 project, although overdue, is timely in its efforts to attempt to begin a sector-wide structural reform process to revitalise and strengthen the Solomon Islands’ official statistical system.
“Re-invigorating the linkages between the system and key socio-economic development policies will lead to improved service delivery and improved livelihoods of all Solomon Islanders.”
The DFAT representative, Kirsten Hawke, saluted the work of the National Statistics Office and further reinforced the need for collaboration between producers and users of statistics in Solomon Islands.
After the launch, representatives from more than 20 Government Ministries and other agencies participated in a workshop to discuss a vision for the future of the national statistical system.
Participants envisage a national statistical system that will be vibrant, sustainable and well-coordinated and will provide statistics that are responsive to the needs of the Solomon Islands.
The workshop was held at Forum Fisheries Agency Conference Centre.