Statistics is the heart of policy making – President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih | Photo: President's Office

Male’, Maldives – Addressing the nation on the occasion of World Statistics Day, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that statistics is the heart of policy making.

The address which was published by the President’s Office on Tuesday, emphasized the high value the government places on measurable goals and policies that are data driven. He stated that it is in light of the importance of statistics that he has accepted his Cabinet’s recommendation to mark every October 20 as the National Statistics Day.

The President further stated that “statistics is at the heart of public policy, as it is crucial to measuring economic productivity and the success of major industries, and to disseminating pertinent and comprehensive information to the public.” He also said that the Government’s Strategic Action Plan (SAP) encompassing the five areas of Blue Economy, Caring State, Dignified Families, Tropical Lifestyle (Jazeera Dhiriulhun), and Good Governance, comes with specific and measurable goals, and that their successful outcome can only be measured by numbers.

President Solih further highlighted that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has further proved the significance of statistics, elaborating the importance of timely and detailed statistics, especially with regard to case numbers and infection rates, in formulating an effective health response. He also noted his administration’s transparency with the data, pointing to efforts to regularly update the public on the national Covid-19 situation, and the fact that the Maldives is among the few countries to provide sex disaggregated data with regard to the pandemic’s trajectory within the country.

Speaking on his decision to accept his Cabinet’s recommendation to designate a National Statistics Day, President Solih noted that its purpose is to highlight the significance of statistics to the general public and to ensure that it is given more prominence in the education system of the country. He reiterated that it is vital that there is a broader national appreciation for the importance of statistics. Further, the President also expressed his gratitude to the dedicated staff at the National Bureau of Statistics for the invaluable work they do to update the public regarding important national trends.

World Statistics Day is celebrated internationally once every five years. This year it is being celebrated under the theme of ‘connecting the world with data we can trust’, intended to underscore the importance of trustworthy and authoritative data when making important policy decisions.