In an effort to produce timely and quality statistics that would help stakeholders make more evidence-based policy decisions, Government, through the National Bureau of Statistics, on Monday launched the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics programme at the Tower Hotel.Finance Minister Winston Jordan centre and other guests at the launch of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics programmeThe one-year programme, which is valued at $91.4 million, aims to increase the availability of statistics in relation to Guyana, the economy, poverty levels, employment, and other critical data necessary. The programme would also monitor various activities to provide accurate statistics.In delivering the keynote address at launch of programme, Finance Minister Winston Jordan underscored the importance of statistic to planning, policy formation, and decision- making.“This Government recognises the importance of statistics, and information in general, for effective decision-making. Guyana is part of a globalized environment where the role of, and access to, timely, accurate information are being brought into sharp relief,” he added.Statistics, he said, are important to Government, because they allow Government to create policy, promote development, and help reduce poverty. Businesses also use statistics to decide where to invest and how to run their businesses, and to measure results, he said.“Without good statistics that are fit for purpose, all of our lives would be much more difficult, and scarce national resources will be inefficiently used,” he said.The minister said Government recognises that an efficient and effective national statistical system is essential in order to meet certain development challenges of the 21st century.“This launch involves the development of a medium term strategic plan to develop and improve statistics across the spectrum of public agencies. This will raise the bar tremendously in terms of availability, accuracy, and timeliness of information for decision-making,” he added.Chairman of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr Nelson Modeste, noted the importance of data relating to labour productivity, which he said could welcome investors.“I think we need to have some idea as to the productivity in the economy and in different sectors in the economy. It increases improvements in productivity, and it generally gives us an indication as to what is likely to happen towards the standard of living,” he stated.The main goal of the ‘National Strategies for Development of Statistics’ is to address the coordination, production and information issues that burden the national statistical systems, and to achieve the implementation of credible and relevant statistical systems in each country.The programme is being funded through a grant provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and is being assisted by Paris21 – The Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century.The launch will be followed by a one-week workshop.