Tokelau statistics office joins SIDS in full force

Apia, 1 September 2014
The entire staff of the Tokelau National Statistics Office (TNSO) joined the SIDS conference today, all 1.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs) of them. Kele Lui is National Statistician (half-time) and dr Jaap ("iapi") Jasperse the Statistics Adviser, on secondment from Statistics New Zealand.

The occasion was to participate in the "Forum on advancing statistical development in SIDS, towards sustainable development in the post 2015 era." Panel members represented a range of international statistics-oriented organisations: PARIS21 (PARtnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century), SPC (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) and SBS (Samoa Statistics Bureau) among them.

A plea was made for better funding of national statistics organisations: National budgets had often only a fraction of one percent allocated to statistics. Yes it was essential to ensure that statistics were collected and used that are of a very high standard. Ironically it is during challenging times that statistics are needed most.

So statistics offices should be working together, particularly to enable small offices (of say 5 people) to still produce the wide range of data and analysis that were required for proper policy. This struck a chord with the Tokelau representatives of what must be the smallest statistics office in the world. They had encouraging discussions with representatives of PARIS21, whom they recently approached for support in developing a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS).
Tokelau National Statistician Kele Lui (left) and Statistics Adviser dr Jaap Jasperse at SIDS today.

Key panel members in this picture represented, from left to right: SPC, the Caribbean, SBS and Paris 21.