Samoa celebrates World Statistics Day

Samoa joined more than 100 countries worldwide in marking World Statistics Day on Tuesday and recognising the value of trustworthy and authoritative data in making the world a better place. 

A small ceremony was held at Taumeasina Island Resort to mark the occasion.

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi acknowledged the United Nations in designating 20 October as World Statistics Day.

The day is commemorated every five years.

“This is the third year [for holding World Statistics Day], and Samoa is proud to be part of the 2020 celebration, as recognition of the Government’s commitment to support statistical services in Samoa, as well as statistical developments in the United Nations,” he said.

Tuilaepa noted the theme of this year’s celebration is “Connecting with data we can trust”.

The Prime Minister said that every day data drives development across the country, including progress in health, education, the environment, infrastructure, and law and order.

“As human beings, we feel very delighted when data shows achievements in our developments,” he said. 

“But when data shows little progress, we feel very disappointed.

“This means data plays a significant role for us to learn lessons, re-adjust [our] plans or projects, and then keep moving forward, because time never comes back.”

Prime Minister Tuilaepa also said it was essential that the national statistical service compiles reliable data with use of standardised methodologies and solid principles.

Such information, he said, informs Government decision-making; the development of policy; national planning; and ensuring the direction of policy is based on evidence, not opinions. 

“At times, the data do not reflect the reality in the local context because of standard methodologies,” he said. 

“We are grateful therefore that Samoa has been elected recently to the United Nations statistical commission for the first time as a country and also for the Pacific islands. 

“We hope that our participation will bring forward the realities and challenges [...] Pacific nations [...] face in [ensuring our] compliance to standard methodologies for our developments.”

He also said that as Samoa continues to navigate the global impacts of COVID-19, data from the World Health Organisation is playing a significant role in informing the world about the pandemic’s progress; deaths; survivors; and the number of people infected by the illness. 

“This information would not have been possible without data from the respective member states [of the World Health Organisation]. It is a clear example that the world is connected by data,” Tuilaepa said. 

“We are truly thankful to God almighty that Samoa and a few other pacific island nations are still COVID-19 free. 

“However, data informs us that we must not be complacent, but stay vigilant and be prepared, as we open our borders for international flights and shipping services.”

As part of the celebrations, the Samoa Bureau of Statistics also launched its first-ever gender dynamics monograph report for Samoa.

The report is drawn from an analysis of 2016 census data to include new insights into areas such as the population’s levels of education; health and well-being; employment status; and household assets. 

The data is intended to provide a guide for ongoing social programmes and financial assistance provided by the Government, non-Governmental organisations and international partners.

The report aims to promote equal opportunities for participation across genders, and especially Samoa’s younger people, in all social and economic developments. 

The Prime Minister thanked all development and donor partners who supported the nation’s statistical services.

“Let us continue to connect and build more data we can trust,” he said. 

The Government's Chief Statistician, Ali’imuamua Malaefono Taua, said that the Bureau’s mandate is to support statistical activities and services in Samoa. 

She said that collecting significant data will assist policymakers in making decisions. 

In a statement, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said that good data was a reliable way to tackle common challenges facing humanity. 

“As the United Nations marks its seventy-fifth anniversary and the world deploys data to face a common challenge, let us use World Statistics Day to spotlight the role of statistics in advancing sustainable development for all,” he said.

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