Using International Statistical Classifications to Improve Data Quality and Comparability in the OECS

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OECS Media Release

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 — The OECS Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD), delivers training on the use of the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) to agencies of the national statistical system in each OECS Member State. 

The power of statistical classifications is highlighted by the UNSD as “a key requirement for the production of reliable, comparable and methodologically sound statistics.

Consistent use of classifications at the national level benefits the OECS Regional Statistical System in the following ways:

  • data can be compared at the regional level;
  • data quality is assured;
  • data producers can integrate systems; and
  • cost of data production is reduced.

The OECS region, through the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, established an economic union, the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union (ECEU), that incorporates a monetary union, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to pursue a single economic and financial space. This single space necessitates country comparable data that derive from a harmonisation of concepts, methodologies, definitions and systems for the effective monitoring and continuous assessment of the objectives of the economic union. 

The ISIC training is being facilitated by Mr. Ralf Becker, UNSD, and delivered virtually, one day a week over a six-week period from 16 June to 21 July. Seventy representatives from national statistics offices (NSOs), social security organisations and inland revenue departments in OECS Member States, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the OECS Competitive Business Unit and the Turks and Caicos Islands are participating in the training.

This workshop contributes to the availability of and access to economic data and is aligned to the objectives of the OECS Regional Strategy for Development in Statistics (RSDS), strategic priority 3: Join the Data Revolution. Launched in 2017, the OECS RSDS is the region’s 14-year statistical development master plan for the advancement of data and official statistics.

About the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities – ISIC:

The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) is the international reference classification of productive activities. Its main purpose is to provide a set of activity categories that can be utilized for the collection and reporting of statistics according to such activities. Since the adoption of the original version of ISIC in 1948, the majority of countries around the world have used ISIC as their national activity classification or have developed national classifications derived from ISIC. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data is an example of data that uses ISIC so that economic activity is presented by industry and can be compared among countries that use the coding system.

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