Dec 01 (IPS) – Pacific Governments, agencies, donors and civil society now have a central source of reliable and current data to help them to make decisions that affect Pacific Islanders.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has backed The Pacific Community (SPC) to create and launch the Pacific Data Hub, which will fill data gaps in the Pacific and provide trusted and evidence-based information to decision-makers.
New Zealand is currently the primary funder, putting $6.5 million over nearly four years into the SPC-led Pacific Statistics and Data project, a region-wide regional initiative out of which the Pacific Data Hub was created. Early on in the project, Australia also provided in-kind support.
“Many of the problems facing the Pacific are too big to tackle alone. The Pacific Data Hub will enable a more joined-up response to development issues,” said Belinda Brown, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Consul-General in New Caledonia.
“It provides a platform to share knowledge and build an ongoing cycle of evidence, which will drive learning and better outcomes over time.”
The platform serves as a digital gateway to information from Pacific countries, development partners, academia and research organisations and the private sector, and will act as a single, authoritative point of entry for all Pacific data, information and publications.
“Access to reliable data enables us to make decisions that are informed by evidence. The Pacific Data Hub will increase confidence in the decisions we make through the New Zealand Aid Programme, and is particularly important at a time when we are helping countries address COVID-19 and respond to its wide-ranging socio-economic impacts,” Ms Brown said.
SPC Director General Dr Stuart Minchin said this is an exciting time for the Pacific, as the Pacific Data Hub had been nearly two years in the making.
“The Pacific Data Hub has been entirely created and developed in the Pacific, by the Pacific, with the guiding objective of improving the lives of the Pacific peoples. We’re excited about the launch and by what this will do for the Pacific well into the future,” he said.
Source: The Pacific Community (SPC)
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