Trinidad and Tobago will benefit from a US$721,400 grant from the Joint SDG Fund of the United Nations which will be used to develop the country’s data and statistics related to its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking at the launch of the project at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, United Nations Resident Coordinator (a.i) and International Labour Organization Representative, Dennis Zulu, said the project, entitled “Modernising Trinidad and Tobago’s Statistical Ecosystem Through Enhanced SDG Data Development”, will assist the country in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Zulu said this would allow policymakers to make informed decisions on a wide range of programmes.
“The project has a simple aim, which is to enhance SDG-related data and statistics in Trinidad and Tobago in ways that catalyse wide and systematic improvements throughout the country’s data and statistical ecosystem.”
"Data availability and quality have improved over the years. But statistical capacity and legislation still need strengthening, and data literacy must be enhanced at all levels of decision-making, including among the general public."
Netherlands Ambassador Raphaël Varge van Kibéd, whose country made the largest contribution to the Joint SDG Fund, said the project is a great example of cooperation for the greater good.
“The Netherlands is a strong supporter of the UN’s development system reforms and the ambitions of the Joint SDG Fund. We very much support UN coordination and agencies working together. We believe this leads to sustainable change in countries and the Netherlands encourages UN agencies to think, plan and implement it together.”
“It’s an incredible initiative and the aim is to modernise and expand…the national statistical system on the use of data for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Soon the system will be able to deliver quality, user-enabled and dynamic statistics for the economy, social needs and the environment. This is critical to make effective evidence-based decisions and to monitor the achievement of programs, policies and objectives. The Netherlands is proud to be a part of these important developments.”
Varga van Kibéd said the Netherlands is a long-standing member of the UN steering group that helped to draft policies on SDG statistics via Statistics Netherlands.
Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, who previously served as a UN Ambassador, said she appreciates this much-needed venture.
"As someone who served at the UN it's always difficult when you listen to presentations relating to SDGs and you don't have the data, knowing we have just eight years before we get to 2030, [so] this presentation is especially timely."
The project is being implemented by a team of UN agencies: the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Organisation, the UN Environment Programme and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, with coordination support from the resident UN coordinator’s office in Port of Spain.
Over a period of 24 months the project will be coordinated by these five UN agencies in collaborating with government, private sector companies, academia and civil society to assist in producing and sharing data for analyses, reporting, gender and human rights mainstreaming in national policy and coordination.
The UN said the project will allow for the integration of international standards on human rights and gender equality into the way statistics are collected, the fostering of data partnerships and advocacy for the strengthening of legislation governing statistics collection.
During the launch ceremony, the ILO handed over 85 devices (75 tablets and 10 laptops) to the Central Statistical Office, valued at US$42,608. The devices will be used to provide updated, digitalised and field-tested data instruments in at least two national surveys.
Other contributors to the Fund are Germany, Ireland, Korea, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The Joint SDG Fund is a UN inter-agency fund that finances innovative projects to get the world back on track to achieve SDGs.
The SDGs are the blueprint for fair and just development which all UN Member States have agreed to pursue.
See more about Trinidad and Tobago’s SDGs here: https://bit.ly/3owPEcF
Originally published on LoopNews