Published on March 11, 2024

Data and Policy Solutions in Barbados and Montserrat

A stakeholder consultation, part of the “Integrated Population Data and Policy Solutions to Accelerate SDGs Achievement in Barbados and Montserrat” Joint SDG Fund programme, took place from 15th to 16th May 2023, hosted by the Economic Affairs and Investment Division of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados. This consultation marked the commencement of the population situation analysis for Montserrat and the development of training courses on population mainstreaming for both Barbados and Montserrat.

The first day began with a kick-off meeting led by the Acting Permanent Secretary of Economic Affairs and Investment, Ms Annette Weeks, followed by extensive discussions with members of the Country Coordinating Committee from various departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Barbados Statistical Service, and the Immigration Department. On the second day, the focus shifted to discussions with a selected audience from the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Third Sector, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Barbados Statistical Service, Immigration Department, the National Disabilities Unit, and the Registration Department.

The consultations in Barbados revealed key population areas for the country, including education, young people's transitions, ageing, and migration. Moreover, it was revealed that the country faces limitations in data analysis capacity, particularly in labour surveys, and requires additional human resources to fulfil necessary actions.  Specific needs identified included employing analysts proficient in evaluating and producing recent census results, measuring migration accurately using available statistics, and employing data dissemination experts for new visualisation techniques. Additionally, there was an urgent call for capacity strengthening on population and sustainable development linkages across all participating ministries. The participants expressed the need to have on-site classroom training and direct coaching to specialised ministries and provided recommendations on the design of the population mainstreaming training.

Earlier in May, consultations in Montserrat were conducted to gather and verify information concerning the legal systems regarding vital event registries. This included analysis of legal and institutional frameworks, legal identity, registration practices, data protection, security, and confidentiality to prepare Chapters 2 to 5 of the comprehensive evaluation of the civil registration and vital statistics (CVRS) system of Montserrat. Consultations were held with members of the Country Coordination Committee including with Ms. Deonne Semple, Director of Policy and Planning, who served as the lead focal point. In the discussions, the government expressed concerns over several population issues such as population decline, ageing, migration (bringing back the diaspora), and statelessness among immigrant children.

As the project progresses in Barbados and Montserrat, the national stakeholders have affirmed its importance to accelerate the achievement of their development priorities and increase their capacities in support of achieving the country’s goals. 


The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.