JIS News

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson, has said that the annual Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC), published jointly by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), plays a key role in informing policy planning and development.
Senator Nelson, who was speaking at the official launch of the 2007 publication yesterday (Nov. 26), at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, said that the statistics and facts contained, in areas such as health, education, consumption, labour, among others, are critical in informing and guiding policy decisions to be implemented for social and economic development.
“Your published results serve as guidelines that will help to ensure that the most appropriate, effective, efficient and cost-effective programmes are implemented for maximum benefit. It also helps to improve or restructure existing social programmes as well as identify vulnerable groups, who need to be addressed through the creation of new social programmes,” he pointed out.
He said that Jamaicans need to recognise and embrace the research process as a powerful tool, that will enable the country to truly build a desired foundation for strong economic growth and implement sound social development programmes.
“Research sets out for us, the facts and figures, as well as weighs the alternatives, cost benefits and outcomes. It provides proof of what works and what will not work in the real setting. This will indeed minimise wastage and failed policies in a time when the country cannot afford it. Failure is a luxury that the Government of Jamaica cannot afford,” Senator Nelson stated.
He further commended the PIOJ and STATIN on the annual report, which he argued is the “most important and valuable publication for the past 20 years”.
“You should be proud to know that the publication is the only series in the Caribbean region that provides a comprehensive database for tracking the social and welfare status of its people,” he stated.
The launch was part of the 20th anniversary conference of the JSLC.

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