Director's Update #1

Bonjour and a warm Pacific greeting to all SPC Member Countries and Partners in Pacific statistics development,

As part of the Statistics for Development Division (SDD) transitioning to a statistical system leader and making its work more visible to all member countries, development partners and donors, I will provide you with regular updates on the Division’s work program; other partners and donors activities in the region and key regional statistical events. I would love to hear your feedback if you think there is a particular area you need me to include in this update.

As you will appreciate, SDD has gone through a number of reviews in the last 12 months. This included the Sustineo Group Pacific Statistics Assessment (July 2016) and the SDD Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) Review (Nov 2016). The TYPSS Phase 2 review is now taking place and this may also impact the future role and functions of SDD. The TYPSS Phase 2 Review is conducted by Sustineo Group of Canberra and they have already started visiting 3 member countries – Kiribati, Fiji and Tonga. This is to be followed by phone interviews and questionnaires where many of you will be asked to participate. It is expected the final outcome will be ready by July 2017.

The SDD recent reviews have confirmed the need to improve the quality of the data SDD help member countries collect including Trade, Prices, HIES, Population Census, CRVS, Education data, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and Disability Survey. Data dissemination was also identified as a very high priority where SDD needs to ensure data are disseminated in a way that meet the needs of users. The reviews have also emphasised the need for SDD to coordinate the region’s statistical system.

I am now going through the implementation of the recommendations with the help of an external consultant, Keith Sykes. Mr. Sykes was the former International Manager (Pacific region included) for Statistics NZ for many years and he brings with him a substantial knowledge of the region as well as strong knowledge of statistical development priorities. The current process is expected to be completed by 30th June 2017 and then SDD will move to a new structure. During this transition period, I ask all member countries and partners for your patience while we get our house re-organised.

The 2017 Head of Planning and Statistics (HOPS) will take place at the SPC Headquarter in Noumea, New Caledonia from 14-16 November 2017. While we have not confirmed the agenda for this year, you will appreciate this is going to be a busy meeting given the number of major statistical events taking place both within the region and globally. A Donor only and Partners meeting will be held during HOPS (or a day before the HOPS meeting).

As you all know, SDG indicator work is now taking centre stage on our statistical platform. The SDG Taskforce met in Suva at the beginning of April. A small Technical Working Group (TWG) was set up to review the 129 indicators agreed to during the meeting and to report back to the next meeting taking place in Suva at the end of May.

Finally, I would like to hear your feedback to make sure this communication is useful. My dissemination team will continue to work with you to make sure we meet your needs.

Please note we have just updated the list of Major Statistical Collections 2015 – 2022 which can be viewed here.

Malo aupito

Dr 'Ofa Ketu'u
Director, Statistics for Development Division