This is expected to assist the public and private sectors in strategy, policy and programme formulation. Story Highlights The first ever Jamaica Survey of Establishments (JSE) Report was launched at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston, on Wednesday (September 25). The 2018 JSE, a pioneering initiative that was executed under the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project (FCGP), is intended to provide valid empirical data on the total number of establishments participating in commercial, business and other similar engagements across Jamaica. The first ever Jamaica Survey of Establishments (JSE) Report was launched at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston, on Wednesday (September 25).The 2018 JSE, a pioneering initiative that was executed under the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project (FCGP), is intended to provide valid empirical data on the total number of establishments participating in commercial, business and other similar engagements across Jamaica.This is expected to assist the public and private sectors in strategy, policy and programme formulation.The survey’s findings will be used as an input for the Statistical Business Register (SBR), which is maintained by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and which conducted the JSE between July and December 2018, with funding support from the World Bank, which finances the FCGP.The SBR provides the frame for the selection of samples for establishment surveys. The 2018 JSE, therefore, improves STATIN’s ability to conduct more targeted surveys on segments of the economy.Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon, Nigel Clarke, and Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, who spoke at the launch, have endorsed the 2018 JSE.Dr. Clarke, who was the keynote speaker, said the JSE provides a baseline for related future surveys.He said the report will, for the first time, provide scientifically collated data in a verifiable format that can be used going forward.“Statistics have, historically, always been important… and formulating policy without data is like driving a car in the dark. Unfortunately, we have done that for far too long,” the Minister argued.He pointed out, however, that “we are changing that”, adding that “we are recognising that policy that is built on the foundation of data is policy that can actually be forceful in alleviating the concerns and the problems that we face”.In his remarks. Mr. Shaw said there has to be focus on the collective recognition of the need to gather and analyse baseline data towards developing policies and strategies to be able to inspire and support the gestation and sustenance of our local entrepreneurs and businesses.Against this background, Mr. Shaw said the survey’s findings will position Jamaica to better plan, “according to the prevailing conditions and deeper studies”.“The data obtained, so far, is a point of departure, therefore, for other such surveys and studies to inform our decisions as we transform to data-driven governance and preparedness,” he added.In his address, PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said the JSE, which was conceptualised in 2014, will provide invaluable data that will aid in identifying and understanding economic trends and improve the robustness of policy prescriptions.Additionally, he said it will provide data-driven options for business growth and expansion.“The PIOJ and its partners, in producing the JSE, are confident that this and future surveys will contribute significantly to filling the need for data to enhance business, economic planning and development in Jamaica,” the PIOJ Director General said.For her part, STATIN Director General, Carol Coy, said the provision of data from the 2018 JSE to strengthen the Statistical Business Register, will provide a framework for the development of a robust sampling frame for future establishment surveys.“This will guard against the obsolescence of information in samples selected and allow for the management of respondent burden,” she added.Meanwhile, Ms. Coy sought to allay the concerns and fears of persons averse to providing the Institute with information.“We assure you that the information you provide… is protected by the Statistics Act and is only published in aggregate format. It is through your sharing of information that we will be able to provide meaningful statistics that will help to inform, not only government policies and programmes but also the strategic decisions that you make as you seek to grow your business,” she added.