OECS Stats In Focus Issue 18 - Page 7

Reflecting on his achievements and those of the regional statistical offices, St. Catherine highlighted the important role that policy makers play as the receptors and implementers of change for the statistical findings.

“As we have more and more statistical development in the region, a lot of truths about the population will come to light. We have to learn to embrace it.”

“Our policy makers have to be more comfortable and open with knowing the real situation.”

St. Catherine noted the difficult, and somewhat uncomfortable, relationship between a politician and a statistician given that the ‘objective truth’ which the statistician naturally seeks may or may not be favourable to the politician.

He further noted, however, that in recent years policy makers have been showing many promising signs of embracing good information when it is made available and suggested “a sort of hands-off supervision” whereby policy makers can become more involved in the process by providing advice that will improve investigations over time.

Mr. St. Catherine plans to continue his contributions to statistical development throughout his retirement, lending his expertise to the region and beyond.

“I expect to be providing advice where it is sought and sometimes where it is not sought. If I think it is required, I will certainly provide it.”

Interview with Edwin St. Catherine, Former Director of Statistics for Saint Lucia