Minister of Health and Social Development, the Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton, delivered an address to the people of the British Virgin Islands to launch the CALC and emphasised that the availability of data is critical for decision-making as the country recovers from the natural disasters of 2017.
“The highest responsibility of any government is to ensure the safety and well-being of the people,” Minister Skelton said.
The CALC will utilise the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)’s Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment methodology that goes beyond traditional income-based poverty measures to an approach that measures multidimensions of poverty and human development. These dimensions include education, health, living standards and employment.
The comprehensive CALC will be undertaken with four activities:
- the Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budget Survey which will be conducted by the Central Statistics Office and will cover 1000 randomly selected households;
- a Participatory Poverty Assessment which will be conducted in four communities and will be coordinated by the Social Development Department;
- a Macro Social and Economic Assessment led by the Ministry of Finance, which involves the collection and analysis of secondary data in order to examine key political, economic and social trends; and
- an Institutional Assessment covering a range of government institutions and civil society organisations that provide services which are designed to improve living conditions.
Data collection for the Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budget Survey is expected to commence in November 2018.
The Minister expressed sincere thanks to the CDB and the OECS Commission for their financial support and technical expertise.
The Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Project is being implemented in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.