22 Apr 2015

Vital statistics lacking in Pacific

4:48 pm on 22 April 2015

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says birth registration and vital statistics are the biggest critical information gaps for countries in the region.

Secretariat of the Pacific Community signage

Secretariat of the Pacific Community signage Photo: RNZ

The Director of SPC's Statistics for Development Division Gerald Haberkorn says only three or four Pacific countries have properly functioning data collection systems.

He says this is not good enough for efficient service delivery.

"Unless governments really see the value of statistics to inform their own policy development and planning. Their own monitoring and tracking of regular policy performance and progress and be able to report on that, on the basis of facts. We will not be able to push this forward."

Mr Haberkorn also says from a policy makers' perspective numbers alone are useless and qualitative data such as the cause of deaths must also be captured.