The design, implementation, follow-up and evaluation of public policies generate new challenges for national statistical programmes, for which high-quality, timely and relevant statistics are increasingly useful and seen as a highly valued public good.
In order to progress towards the generation of better and more comparable indicators in the region, the Fourth Statistical Conference of the Americas of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (SCA-ECLAC) will take place 25 - 27 July 2007. Representatives of 28 ECLAC member countries will participate, as well as delegations from specialized United Nations agencies, regional organizations and international bodies.
The meeting will be opened by ECLAC Executive Secretary, José Luis Machinea, and the President of the Executive Committee of SCA-ECLAC, Gilberto Calvillo, who is also President of the Mexico's National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information (INEGI). It begins at 9:30 a.m, Wednesday 25 July 2007 at ECLAC headquarters (Raul Prebisch Conference Room, Av. Dag Hammarskjold 3477, Vitacura, Santiago).
The Statistical Conference of the Americas is a subsidiary body of ECLAC. Its objectives include: promoting the development, improvement and international comparability of national statistics, taking into account the recommendations of the United Nations Statistical Commission, specialized bodies and other relevant organizations; promoting international, regional and bilateral cooperation between national statistical offices and international and regional organizations; and preparing a biannual programme of regional and international cooperation activities which, subject to the availability of resources, responds to the demands of the countries of the region.
Discussion will focus on the growing significance of statistical development issues in the region, connected to the increased demand for information, the need to make government decision-making processes more effective and efficient, and to improve control and evaluation. At the same time, the discussions will take into account the growing importance of statistics, so developing and strengthening democracy, given that the production of credible and accessible public information contributes to the process of democratic participation, transparency, and the overall accountability of the political system.
One central theme is the adoption of the final proposal for the Strategic Plan 2005-2015, which outlines SCA-ECLAC activities in support of the development of official statistics in Latin America and the Caribbean. This plan defines the mission, vision, strategic objectives, specific objectives and activities where the Conference must concentrate through 2015. This deadline coincides with the Millennium Development Goals, which represent a great challenge for the region's national statistical offices in developing an appropriate information system for monitoring these objectives.
The conference also coincides with preparations for the Census Round of 2010, as well as the implementation of national accounts in all of the region's countries and the revision scheduled for 2008. These common challenges will open opportunities for synergy in regional and international cooperation.