The Central America Statistical Commission (CENTROESTAD) of the System of Integration of Central America (SICA) has embarked on a Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) process. The overriding objective of an RSDS consists in preparing an Action plan that will, eventually, meet the requirements of regional integration policies and ensure that the statistical information produced by National Statistical Systems (NSSs) is comparable, by complying as strictly as possible with the profession’s recommendations and international standards and by taking into account the regional reality. Setting up a coordinated regional statistical system will pave the way towards harmonised statistics between member countries, but will also help build the necessary statistical capacity within NSSs.
SICA-CENTROESTAD organised a regional event in San Salvador on the 5th and 6th November 2012, with the support and in coordination with EUROSTAT and PARIS21. The event brought together more than 60 participants from the SICA member countries and the Dominican Republic, regional specialized institutions, technical and financial partners, experts and others.
The event is part of the participatory process for the design of the RSDS, initiated by SICA-CENTROESTAD and supported by various partners (World Bank, EU, Spain, etc.). It was a useful meeting in bringing together regional and national statistical players in order to ensure they set the same course, i.e. work together to improve statistics, as any progress in regional statistics implies an improvement in national statistics.
Moreover, it promoted the importance of leadership and high-level support in statistics. Best practices were also shared through various presentations (EUROSTAT, Andean Community, SICA Regional Initiatives). Dr. Edgar Chamorro, the Executive Secretary of SICA, opened the meeting, followed by M. Marco Valle, the Director of the Statistical Institute of Nicaragua –the country which currently holds the pre tempore presidency of CENTROESTAD- followed by EUROSTAT and PARIS21.
A promotional 10 minute video clip was shown at the end of the opening ceremony. Presentation of main conclusions from the assessment exercise and preliminary orientations by representatives of the national statistical institutes followed, as well as interventions from technical and financial partners and regional institutions.