The Twelfth Meeting of the Statistical Conference of the Americas came to a close today at the main headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, with a call to generate and consolidate at a national and regional level environmental, climate change and disaster statistics and indicators, which provide reliable and timely metrics for decision-making and for moving forward on implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The intergovernmental meeting – which is the main forum for discussing the development of statistics in the region – was held from September 26-28, bringing together authorities from National Statistical Offices in Latin American and Caribbean countries, along with representatives of United Nations System agencies, funds and programs, academia and civil society.
At the Conference’s closing session, the Dominican Republic took over as Chair of the Statistical Conference of the Americas for the 2024-2025 biennium. The Conference’s Executive Committee for the same period is also composed of Argentina, the Bahamas, Grenada, Mexico, Peru, Spain and Uruguay.
Miosotis Rivas, General Director of the National Statistics Office of the Dominican Republic, stressed that “in the complex context in which we live and with the possibility of making progress at the high speed enabled by new technologies, it is necessary that we transform ourselves into a community that can fuel better development of our region through data and statistics.”
She added that “we are facing economic and social challenges of great impact in the region, with aggravating factors such as the unexpected effects of climate change.”
In that context, “National Statistical Offices have a duty to provide the raw material, which are statistics, as basic and indispensable instruments for designing and monitoring the public policies that will prompt an acceleration in the achievement of change for our people,” she stated.
Marco Lavagna – Director-General of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) of Argentina, the country that served as Chair of the Conference in the 2022-2023 biennium – reiterated the urgency of strengthening the region’s statistical community, which would enable putting the Latin American and Caribbean perspective on the global agenda.
On behalf of ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, the Director of its Statistics Division, Rolando Ocampo, welcomed the agreements reached and the progress made during the three-day event.
“We have a lot of work ahead and much to contribute for the sake of our region. We are a very active and collaborative community. ECLAC is proud to serve as Technical Secretariat of the Statistical Conference of the Americas,” he affirmed.
At the meeting, the participating countries approved a Resolution that, among other points, stresses the importance of platforms for the dissemination of official statistical and geospatial information, which use innovative digital technology solutions that enable interoperability of available data assets, for making such information available in a more timely manner and to a wider group of users.
It further acknowledges the role of national statistical offices as key stakeholders in leading and coordinating the dissemination of statistical and geospatial information, and invites countries to move forward in consolidating their platforms for the dissemination of statistical and geospatial information using interoperable data ecosystems that facilitate their implementation.
The Resolution recognizes the usefulness of small area estimation methodologies as a tool for the production of official statistics disaggregated by interest group and geographic area, which allow adequate monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals and feed a base of reliable information for the design and evaluation of public policy.
During the Conference, authorities also approved a statement in which they stress the need to have sustainable access to data held by the private sector for the production of official statistics.
The Statement on the use of data held by the private sector for the purposes of official statistics warns about the increased challenges associated with the collection of primary data from individuals, households, businesses and institutions, and emphasizes the potential of private sector data in the more timely and efficient production of official statistics.
In that regard, it urges the region’s countries to support national statistical offices in their key coordinating role in access to data held by the private sector for official statistical purposes, taking into consideration the different levels of progress of the respective national statistical systems.
CEPALGEO offers a set of technological tools for accessing various sources of geospatial information and promoting its utilization in public decision-making in the region. Its implementation is a new contribution by ECLAC to disseminating georeferenced information.
The Portal of inequalities in Latin America, meanwhile, seeks to disseminate information on different aspects of inequality in the region’s countries in a simple and understandable way. The platform uses graphics to clearly visualize the existing gaps and texts that describe the construction of the indicators, their interpretation and the results they yield. All the information contained in this portal comes from CEPALSTAT, the main gateway to statistical information collected, systematized, produced and published by ECLAC.