The unavailability of data to inform policy planning and formulation has been repeatedly cited as the main challenge to economic and social progress in the Caribbean. Furthermore, even in instances when data is produced, broader gaps exist between its production and eventual use for evidence-based policy formulation. Owing to those challenges, this report explores the use of databases of social and gender statistics in the development of policies and programmes in the Caribbean subregion. The report offers a general appraisal of databases against two main considerations: (i) maximizing the use of existing databases in relevant policies and programmes; and (ii) bridging the gaps in data availability of relevant statistical databases and their analyses.
The assessment entailed an inventory of social and gender databases maintained by data producers in the region and analysis of the extent to which the databases are used for policy formulation. To that end, a literature search as well as consultations with a number of knowledgeable persons active in the field of statistics and data provision was conducted. Based on the review, a set of recommendations were produced to improve current practices within the region with respect evidence based policy formulation.