Authorities and experts in the region agreed yesterday to draft a code of good practices on statistics for Latin America and the Caribbean and promote the use of international standards in handling this type of data.
The proposal is part of the agreements approved during the Fifth Meeting of the Statistical Conference of the Americas of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (SCA-ECLAC) held this week in Bogota, Colombia, with the participation of over 50 delegates from 21 countries in the region and 33 representatives of 15 specialized international agencies.
During the next two years, member countries will draft a work proposal to establish a code of good practices, which will contribute to producing reliable and timely indicators, vital for transparency and evaluating the results of public policies.
The proposal will be approved during the sixth SCA-ECLAC meeting in 2011.
In her presentation during the inauguration of the meeting, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena warned that the credibility of official statistics is a fundamental asset for democratic development.
"This requires an institutional framework that ensures independence in decision-making on statistics systems, absent of all influence not guided by professional criteria," said Bárcena.
The delegates to the Fifth SCA-ECLAC Meeting pledged to improve their statistics capabilities to produce indicators related to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Participants highlighted the urgency of developing capacities to produce and disseminate statistics on gender, especially those related to non-paid work, the impact of the economic crisis on female employment and the coverage of social programmes.
The will also seek to advance towards the standardization of statistics on poverty in the region and create working groups on censuses and environmental statistics. Delegates hope to integrate relevant indicators on natural resources in the region in their national statistics systems.