The Cook Islands Strategy for the Development of Statistics (CSDS) 2015–2025 is currently being reviewed by the Cook Islands Statistics Office (CISO) in collaboration with Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ). Over the course of a week, consultants Jonathan Palmer (Lead consultant) and Ofa Ketu’u (Program Manager, Statistics NZ Pacific), alongside Cook Islands Statistics Officers, met with important stakeholders of the Cook Islands to discuss and gather information. The information that was gathered is to be utilized to create a capacity assessment.
The overall objective of the current strategy is to provide strategic directions and appropriate mechanisms. It guides and accelerates the development of the sustainable statistical capacity and promotes evidence-based policy formulation, planning and decision-making in support of the national, regional and international development agenda. The CSDS is a comprehensive framework for advocating for statistics, assessing and meeting user needs, building capacity at all levels (with added focus on sectors), enhancing data quality for mobilizing and leveraging resources (national, regional and international). The CSDS is not a wish list spelling out the desired statistical activities, but it is the result of a participatory process inclusive of all stakeholders with links to the development planning and policy process.
Given that the Statistics Officers and Consultants weren’t starting from a “blank sheet of paper”, the process was streamlined with more reliance on stakeholder engagements. These engagements were designed to draw on knowledge and seek their opinion on the quality of the country’s statistics system. Questions asked of our stakeholders were:
- What did they think about the current state of the Cook Island national statistical system?
- What are its strengths, weaknesses, and areas that might require improvement?
- What are your future needs for official statistics?
- Are there any administrative data that might be utilized to produce official statistics?
- If your agency is also a producer of official statistics, what is your current capacity to produce these statistics?
- What is your agency’s capacity to use official statistics?
This review will significantly contribute in gathering information that will support good and decisive policy decisions at both national and international levels. We think that a competent statistics service will serve the public good and assist our country in making better judgments. It should be helpful, professional, inventive, efficient, and capable. That is the ultimate goal we’re trying to achieve.
Please contact the Statistics Office at [email protected] or call 29511