Tonga Gender Report Data Analysis Workshop, Opening Remarks by Kim Robertson

Tongatapu

SPC Opening Remarks
Tonga Gender Report Data Analysis Workshop
15-24 January 2020  

By Kim Robertson, Advisor – Gender Statistics
Social Development Programme (SDP)

JKimRobertson.JPGGovernment Statistician, Viliami Fifita and members of the Tonga Department of Statistics Leadership team; participants and friends,
It is an honour and privilege for me to share these brief opening remarks on behalf of my organisation, the Pacific Community (SPC) Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, as well as the SPC senior leadership team, deputy director generals Dr Audrey Aumua and Cameron Diver; and Director of Statistics for Development Division Epeli Waqavonovono as well as my Director of Social Development, Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago – Elisara.

I present warm greetings on behalf of the Pacific Community; our organisation is delighted to provide this support to Tonga Department of Statistics and stakeholders. This workshop exemplifies our work in SPC to integrate gender equality and social inclusion across all our work areas – in this instance gender data and statistics. Late last year, Tonga Department of Statistics requested SPC assistance to produce, publish and disseminate a gender statistics publication for launching on Tonga Statistics Day 2020. This publication will be a first for the region as the Government Statistician has granted unprecedented access to survey data from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, the Labour Force Survey and the Tonga Disability Survey, both in 2018. We are very grateful for this access, and hope to meet the Government Statisticians expectations for a publication that brings together data and analysis from all three surveys.

I am delighted to be here today, and to facilitate the process of defining and refining the report contents and priority areas, as well as strengthening the capacity of participants of defining and refining research questions, data mining, data tabulation and statistical storytelling analysis with participants from not only the statistics department, but also key stakeholders including culture and gender [check others].   

I would like to present my credentials to deliver this publication to TDS’s high standards, so that those of who I have just met feel comforted that I have done this kind of report before, once or twice. My professional career with official statistics began in the late 80’s – a very long time ago – when I worked on all stages of the NZ Population Census – from mapping, enumerator training, data collection, data entry and coding, error checking and reporting. It seemed as though as every stage of the Census was complete I was moved along to the next one. However, it was this experience and skillset that brought be to the Pacific region – to assist countries and territories with their Censuses; and that was 25 years ago and I am still here. I first came to Tonga in the late 90’s to do statistics training for SPC and help with the HIES and the CPI, and have done other work developing NSO websites; lots and lots and lots of data analysis including deriving poverty lines, progress reporting against a range of regional and international frameworks including the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, MDGs, SDGs, ICPD, CEDAW, CRPD and others, and have finalised national strategies for the development of statistics in Cook Islands and Vanuatu. So you could say that I have fairly extensive, ‘working’ knowledge of national statistical systems and data processing across the Pacific region. Sane and I tried to count up the number of times I have worked with TDS – we think its at least 6 visits … but there have been other times here when I haven’t been working with TDS.

In closing, I would like to share, that for me personally, this is a very exciting opportunity that exemplifies once again the lead role Tonga Department of Statistics plays in the region in disseminating social sector statistics. We look forward to sharing our progress when the leadership visits the workshop and will be inviting your supervisors and others to join us for the presentation of some key results on the final day. We will not be finishing the report in two weeks – in two weeks, all participants should have the skills to finish their chapters over the next couple of months with ongoing support from TDS and SPC. Many thanks and best regards for this opportunity.

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