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  • The number of areas on which comprehensive data and analyses are provided in the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s (STATIN) Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC), has been expanded by two, in its 2012 edition, to include early childhood development and the elderly.
  • These bring to eight, the number of focus areas incorporated in the report’s 23rd publication, the findings of which were released during a presentation ceremony at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) New Kingston offices, on Friday (November 28).
  • These are in addition to areas focusing on: demographic characteristics; household consumption; health; education; housing; and social protection.

The number of areas on which comprehensive data and analyses are provided in the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s (STATIN) Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC), has been expanded by two, in its 2012 edition, to include early childhood development and the elderly.

These bring to eight, the number of focus areas incorporated in the report’s 23rd publication, the findings of which were released during a presentation ceremony at the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) New Kingston offices, on Friday (November 28).

These are in addition to areas focusing on: demographic characteristics; household consumption; health; education; housing; and social protection.

Speaking at the launch, PIOJ Director General, Colin Bullock, said the focus on early child development has been a “key focus area” for education and training, and was developed within the context of a five-year National Strategic Plan (NSP) for the early childhood sector.

He also described the publication’s focus on the elderly as a “timely addition”, in the context of Jamaica’s ageing population.

The Director General pointed out that, notably, the elderly represents “the largest growing cohort, and will take increased prominence, based on anticipated demographics to come.”

Mr. Bullock said preparation of the Survey, which the PIOJ and STATIN jointly carried out, is “one of the most important undertakings of the Planning Institute.”

Additionally, he said the engagement is in keeping with the PIOJ’s role to “provide timely and accurate information”, to aid in policy formulation and the development of programmes and projects for the achievement of sustainable national growth and development.

“Originally, the report was designed to serve as an important tool for monitoring the social impact of economic changes during the 1990s, a period of policy-driven structural change. Over time, the report has evolved and seeks to capture social progress within the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and (the) Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan,” the Director General stated.

Mr. Bullock pointed out that, within the context of Vision 2030 Jamaica, which he noted, promotes an “integrated approach” to development, the JSLC continues to facilitate the tracking of Jamaica’s progress, over time, “although in the context of emerging and changing objectives.”

“This provides the basis upon which policy formulation can be informed by very robust disaggregated data. Generally, socio-economic policies are aimed towards improving the living condition of Jamaicans. The findings act as a response mechanism – an evaluation of policy. Based on the information gathered and analysed, policy becomes more accurately informed and better able to address living condition issues among Jamaicans,” he added.

The ultimate goal, Mr. Bullock underscored, is the provision of timely data and analysis that quickly “transitions to timely policy action.”

In her remarks, STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, said the agency, as Jamaica’s primary provider of statistical data, has always played a pivotal role in the collection, compilation, and dissemination of information relating to the commercial, industrial, social, environmental, and economic conditions of the Jamaican people.

This information, she noted, is critical to the development of policy aimed at improving the lives of Jamaicans.

Ms. Coy said to ensure this as well as STATIN’s fulfillment of its mandate, the agency has, over the years, forged partnerships with other public sector agencies and departments as well as international development partners, to strengthen the provision of statistics to monitor and evaluate policies.

“One such partnership is the undertaking of the Jamaica Survey with the Planning Institute of Jamaica… (which) will also become critical in monitoring the goals from the post-2015 development agenda. The importance of such a survey… has been recognized by STATIN, and it has now become a part of our annual work programme,” she said.

Ms. Coy and Mr. Bullock acknowledged the lateness of the 2012 report, consequent in challenges arising, and assured that both their agencies are working to resolve the issues causing the delay by, among other things, reviewing the processes, in order to make the information available on a more timely basis in the future.

The 2012 report will be made available to the public at a later date.

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