The Statistics Sub-programme compiles statistics on the member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). These data are submitted to the Secretariat by the member states themselves, either by the National Statistics Office or the Central Bank, depending on the nature of the data. Occasionally, in the absence of data from the member states, third party sources would be utilised.
The data collected are used for multiple purposes-updating of databases, production of statistical reports, providing specified data for analysis. For more about the goals and functions of the Sub-programme, check under About Us.
An attempt has been made to provide users with free access to selected datasets. These data are basically in 'marked up' spreadsheets and can be saved as HTML files which can later be opened by any popular spreadsheet software. Some of the datasets maintained are National Accounts, Balance of Payments and Trade in Services and data on the latest three years available are provided. Longer time series can be downloaded from our publications section or can be requested from our office directly.
In addition to the databases maintained, the Sub-programme also produces a number of statistical reports. These reports along with some publications produced by National Statistical Offices have been made available free of cost in PDF format or HTML format but may require the use of the Adobe Acrobat Reader to read some reports. The publications are available in CD-ROM however requests for these would entail a nominal cost for postage and consumables.
The goal of producing harmonised statistics for the CARICOM Region underscores the project of collecting, compiling and disseminating the statistical methodologies of Member States. Critical to the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the need for a harmonised statistical framework in the Region to enable reliable comparisons across all Member States. In an effort to achieve harmonisation it was thought necessary to activate the process of collecting and compiling methodologies in all areas of statistics. Related to this process is the activity of producing a core set of data to be produced by all Member States in the Region. For this common data set to be meaningful, it is imperative that the supporting metadata be collected and evaluated.
The exposing of these methodologies can enable the diffusion of expertise throughout the region by the utilisation of these methodologies to strengthen capabilities in statistical collection and compilation. It can also serve as a mechanism whereby these methodologies can be reviewed and evaluated not only to achieve harmonisation, but also to improve the accuracy, reliability and timeliness of statistics at the national and regional levels. This process therefore serves to enhance data quality, data integrity and to close the gap in methodological differences and capabilities by encouraging Member States to perform in-house documentation of their methodologies and to learn from the experiences in statistical data compilation that have been attempted in the various statistical offices.
One of the functions of the Statistics Sub-programme is to assist Member States to strengthen statistical capabilities. In order to achieve this, the Sub-programme sources funds and organises workshops and statistical projects at the regional and national levels. Information on past and future meetings and workshops are made available on our web site.
The collection of official statistics requires the existence of legislation to authorise or legitimise the process and to define the procedures, code of conduct, protection/confidentiality provisions and penalties that govern the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of the information. It is therefore a critical feature in the management or the governance of statistical systems.
Given the new and increasing demands for data and the changes due to increased globalisation and advances in information communication technology, the compilation of Statistics Acts of Member States is a starting point to see what changes or modernisation are required in the national statistical systems to meet these challenges.