Puerto Rico government officials announced the start of the process to prepare the island’s first official Human Development Report, to be based on the methodology that the United Nations Program for Development has been using since 1992.
The announcement was made during the Population Studies Conference held last week at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, as the pinnacle event of the commemoration of 2013 as the International Year of Statistics.
“The Human Development Report will give us clarity on where Puerto Rico is within a set of variables related to human and social development, allowing us to draw better strategies to restore economic growth, manage demographic change, poverty reduction and inequality, establish monitoring systems and insert citizen participation in the public policy decision-making processes,” said Secretary of State David Bernier during the announcement.
The report will allow the government compare Puerto Rico with almost 200 countries in the world that for two decades have been generating data that is included in the United Nations’ study, he said.
The Puerto Rico Statistics Institute will be responsible for doing the legwork for the local report, agency Executive Director Mario Marazzi said.
“The institute has a staff of professionals who are highly qualified to coordinate this effort, in which we see universities actively participating, as well as social organizations as well as business and labor associations,” he said.
“The report will be done by Puerto Rican experts, with our vast pool of professionals who are now scattered in many organisms and eager to contribute to the island’s development,” Marazzi said. “We have the people to do it at a fraction of the cost to be paid to an international consulting firm. The initiative should serve to generate a solid statistical foundation that can keep up-to-date at the Institute going forward,” said Marazzi.
Puerto Rico has not been able to compare and share with other world nations about aspects crucial to its economic and social development and this report could be a good starting point for this, they said.Secretary of State David Bernier (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)
“The process of creating national reports has allowed other countries to strengthen exchanges between the academic and professional sectors as well as on policy management, improve the quality of data collection and statistical systems design, develop comparable information databases, and bring into being a culture of monitoring and evaluation of public policies and programs,” Marazzi said. “Issues that must be addressed firmly in Puerto Rico.”
In coming weeks, the Statistics Institute and the State Department will summon different organizations to join the effort and crate workgroups to get the ball rolling on the report.
The government has already asked the United Nations for technical support on this initiative, specifically on the methodology related to designing indicators and building a baseline. It is expected that the first government-sponsored report will be ready by early 2015.